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Rogers Brubaker - The National-Populist Moment

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

cordially invites you to a lecture by

Rogers Brubaker

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Visiting Professor, Nationalism Studies Program, CEU

The National-Populist Moment

This lecture argues that the national populisms of northern and western Europe – the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland – form a distinctive cluster within the wider north Atlantic and pan-European populist conjuncture. They are distinctive in construing the opposition between self and other not in narrowly national but in broader civilizational terms. This partial shift from nationalism to "civilizationism" has been driven by a striking convergence in the last fifteen years around the notion of a civilizational threat from Islam. The preoccupation with Islam has given rise to an identitarian "Christianism," a secularist posture, a philosemitic stance, and an ostensibly liberal defense of gender equality, gay rights, and freedom of speech. It is this novel configuration and the paradoxes associated with it – notably the illiberal invocations of liberalism, the increasing salience of a "Christian" identity in the most secularized region of the world, and the adoption of liberal rhetoric by parties often characterized as "extreme right" – that I seek to describe and explain. I highlight the distinctiveness of this configuration by comparing the national populisms of Northern and Western Europe to the Trump campaign and to the national populisms of East Central Europe. I conclude by specifying two ways in which the joining of identitarian Christianism with secularist and liberal rhetoric challenges prevailing understandings of European national populism.

Wednesday, 15 February at 6 p.m.
103 Tiered, Nádor 15

Rogers Brubaker is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he holds the UCLA Foundation Chair. He has written widely on social theory, immigration, citizenship, nationalism, ethnicity, and religion. His recent books include Ethnicity without Groups (Harvard, 2004), Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town (Princeton, 2006), Grounds for Difference (Harvard, 2015), and Trans: Gender, Race, and the Micropolitics of Identity (Princeton, 2016).