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A Political Science Manifesto for the Age of Populism

A Political Science Manifesto for the Age of Populism

  • Publication planned for: May 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from May 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108479424


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About the Authors
  • Populism and authoritarian-populist parties have surged in the 21st century.  In the United States, Donald Trump appears to have become the poster president for the surge. David Ricci, in this call to arms, thinks Trump is symptomatic of the changes that have caused a crisis among Americans – namely, mass economic and creative destruction: automation, outsourcing, deindustrialization, globalization, privatization, financialization, digitalization, and the rise of temporary jobs; all breeding resentment.   Rather than dwelling on symptoms, Ricci focuses on the root of our nation's problems. Thus, creative destruction, aiming at perpetual economic growth, encouraged by neoliberalism, creates the economic inequality that fuels resentment and leads to increased populism. Ricci urges political scientists to highlight this destruction meaningfully and substantively; to use empirical realism to put human beings back into politics.   Ricci's sensible argument conveys a sense of political urgency, grappling with real-world problems and working to transform abstract speculations into tangible, useful tools. The result is a passionate book, important not only to political scientists, but to anyone who cares about public life.

    • This book starts to answer many of the questions people have about populism, investigating the roots of the resentment that generates political populism by unearthing the downsides of creative destruction and critiquing mainstream economic thinking
    • Ricci provides a focus for scholars who want to make specific, tangible, useful, and repeated contributions to the public conversation rather to speculate more broadly and abstractly about what has brought President Trump and populist leaders in other countries to power in recent years.
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'David M. Ricci has long been one of political science's most insightful connected critics. He now challenges the discipline to confront the dangers of authoritarian populist movements by focusing on the damages wrought by modern capitalism's 'creative destruction' – in a highly accessible account that is itself both creative and constructive.' Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania

    'In his new and bracing book, David M. Ricci follows up on his Politics without Stories by stressing the obligation of political scientists to aim directly at the intellectual underpinning of present-day oligopoly and its pathologies: the scandal of mainstream economics, aka neoliberalism. Everyone who recognizes the impoverishment of general ideas today – and everyone majoring in the social sciences – should read this most readable book.' Todd Gitlin, Columbia University

    'In this engaging volume, David M. Ricci traces the populist propensities of our time to the defects inherent in neoliberalism. As a corrective, he seeks to rally his fellow political scientists behind two Aristotelian claims – that man is first and foremost a political, not an economic, animal; and that, in the construction and maintenance of political communities, politics, not economics, should be regarded as the proper architectonic science.' Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College, Michigan

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: May 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108479424
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from May 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Age of Populism
    2. The Temple of Science
    3. Mainstream Economics
    4. Creative Destruction
    5. Targetting Neoliberalism
    6. Humanism
    7. A Story for Political Science.

  • Author

    David M. Ricci, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    David Ricci lives near Jerusalem, and is a former chair of the departments of American Studies and of Political Science at the Hebrew University. He has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Brookings Institution. He is the author of seven books, including The Tragedy of Political Science, The Transformation of American Politics, Good Citizenship in America, Why Conservatives Tell Stories and Liberals Don't, and Politics Without Stories.   

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