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Edited by Jeff Maskovsky and Sophie Bjork-James

Now available!
February 2020
PB 978-1-949199-46-8
CL 978-1-949199-45-1

Beyond Populism

Angry Politics and the Twilight of Neoliberalism


Across the world, politics is lurching to the right, ethnic nationalism is on the rise, and people are furious. Beyond Populism critically examines the new destructive projects of resentment that have surfaced in the political spaces opened by neoliberalism’s failures, particularly since the financial collapse of 2008. It contextualizes the recent history of the Global North—notably Brexit and the Trump election—among wider comparative politics, with chapters on India, Colombia, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and other parts of the globe marked by populist insurgencies.

The essays collected here explore how global, regional, national, and local structures of power produce angry politics. They go beyond conventional academic debates about populism to explore the different kinds of anger that shape politics today and to make legible the multiplicity of forces, antagonisms, conflicts, and emergent political forms that mark the present. By examining the politics of anger, Beyond Populism also considers what is needed to transform anger from a reactionary to an emancipatory force.


1 – Introduction by Jeff Maskovsky and Sophie Bjork James
Part 1: The Roots of Rage
2 – Populism and Its Others: After Neoliberalism by Don Robotham
3 – Americanism, Trump, and Uniting the White Right by Sophie Bjork-James
4 – Make in India: Hindu Nationalism, Global Capital, and “Jobless Growth” by Preeti Sampat
5 – Blue Bloods, Parvenus, and Mercenaries: Authoritarianism and Political Violence in Colombia by Lesley Gill
Part 2: Multiplicities of Anger
6 – Frustrations, Failures and Fractures: Brexit and ‘politics as usual’ in the UK by John Clarke
7 – Postsocialist Populisms? by Gerald Creed and Mary N. Taylor
8 – Fascism, a Haunting: Spectral Politics and Resistance in Twenty-First-Century Italy by Lilith Mahmud
9 – Other People’s Race Problem: Trumpism and the Collapse of the Liberal Racial Consensus in the United States by Jeff Maskovsky
10 – Euphemisms We Die By: On Epochal Anxiety, Necropolitics, and “Green” Authoritarianism in the Philippines by Noah Theriault
Part 3: Unsettling Authoritarian Populisms
11 – Left Populism in the Heart of South America: From Plurinational Promise to a Renewed Extractive Nationalism by Carwil Bjork-James
12 – “Fed Up” in Ethiopia: Emotions, civics education and anti-authoritarian protest by Jennifer Riggan
13 – Islamophobic Nationalism and Attitudinal Islamophilia by Nazia Kazi
14 – Afterword, by Jeff Maskovsky and Sophie Bjork-James
List of Contributors


Jeff Maskovsky is professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center and professor of urban studies at Queens College, the City University of New York.

Sophie Bjork-James is an assistant professor of the practice in anthropology at Vanderbilt University and has appeared on the NBC Nightly News, on NPR’s All Things Considered, and in the New York Times.


“This book, on one of the major conundrums of our time, refuses foreclosure and widens the horizon.”
Don Kalb, coeditor of Worldwide Mobilizations: Class Struggles and Urban Commoning

“A timely, engaged, and committed intervention that truly goes beyond existing scholarship on populism and produces insights of huge analytical and political potential.”
Paul Stubbs, coeditor of Making Policy Move: Towards a Politics of Translation and Assemblage

“This outstanding volume is an essential and timely engagement with one of the most important—and little understood—developments in the current crisis.”
Leith Mullings, coeditor of Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology