INTERNATIONAL TRICONTINENTAL CONFERENCE 2019
Populism in Latin America, Africa and Asia
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The interaction between those who rule and those being ruled is the essence of political science. Increasingly, this relationship has been shaped by populism, thus, exploring the various manifestations of populist discourse and policies emerged as a particular angle in explaining the nature of politics. The central question, besides its conceptual definition, is whether populism today is more alive and detrimental to liberal democracies than ever. The past, present and future of populism indeed merit attention. It is worth scrutinizing how the concept has evolved as well as if and how contemporary populism can be distinguished from its previous interpretations. Following the experience of the Tricontinental Conference 2017 under the theme “Postcolonial Latin America, Africa and the Middle East”, Tricontinental 2019 intends to place, the relevance of populism in studying, comparing and learning from the experiences of Latin America, Africa and Asia, under the spotlight.
Two points could best describe the nature of populism in Africa. By legitimizing their power through victories gained in the colonial struggle, leaders of the early postcolonial period pledged anti-colonialism which incorporated the re-intensification of local culture, statist economic policies independent from the West, and pan-Africanism. Nevertheless, economic development became the focus of their populist agendas. Related to this mantra, leaders started to look for ways to extend their term limits to attain the promised level of economic development. Besides the continual emphasis on the need to develop, the leaders showed strong stamina against crime and utilized an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ rhetoric about ethnic groups occasionally to the point of causing discrimination which is a common feature of populism.
As far as the Latin America trajectory is concerned, the variety of populisms experienced in the region is striking. The relatively earliest cases involved a shift to a new model of industrial development from 1930s on, with a particular class being co-opted and mobilized by the regime. The latter manifestations of populism largely succeeded long-term interruptions in competitive politics. The neo-liberal version of populism gained momentum in the 1990s, with the prevalence of a free market orientation. Coinciding with the turn to the left, a new version of populism which introduced a return to anti-imperialist discourse and a targeted welfare provision through social programs was in the making in the 2000s.
Populism in Asia takes many shapes and forms. They range from popular responses to governmental inadequacies, to highly sophisticated governmental manipulations of public mood. In this continent and particularly in Southeast Asia, certain strategies associated with populism display resemblances to populism in Latin America and Africa. Leaders position themselves as the remedy to the problems associated with the previous political elite. These leaders do not refrain from utilizing extreme measures to combat crime, as they target certain groups in their societies as scapegoats. All populisms, however, stress a growing conviction in the uniqueness of the Asian personality and of Asian culture.
The Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yeditepe University, kindly invites you to submit abstracts of up to 200 words or panel proposals in relation to the main dynamics of the political in Latin Africa, Africa and Asia with a specific though not an exclusive emphasis on populism. Extended deadline for abstract submission is March 25, 2019. All submissions and inquiries shall be addressed to: email@example.com or apply on this page. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @tricontinental2019
A non-exhaustive list for presentation and section themes may include a broad range of topics such as: