cover image The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism

The Politics of Our Time: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism

John B. Judis. Columbia Global Reports, $27.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-73591-360-5

Talking Points Memo editor Judis compiles and updates his three most recent books in this lucid examination of political movements that have emerged in the U.S. and Europe over the past few decades in response to the failures of neoliberalism. In “The Populist Explosion,” Judis examines how free trade agreements, regulatory rollbacks, welfare cuts, and austerity measures harmed working-class “left-behinds” and “disillusioned young college graduates” alike, paving the way for the rise of populists on both the right (Donald Trump, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán) and the left (Bernie Sanders, Italy’s Five Star Movement). “The Nationalist Revival” explains how right-wing populists target “outgroups,” such as Muslims and immigrants, and takes liberals to task for failing to address such events as the outsourcing of jobs to China and an influx of asylum seekers from the war-torn Middle East that have fueled nativism in the U.S. and Europe. In “The Socialist Awakening,” Judis looks at how the 2008 Great Recession, climate change, and fading memories of the Soviet Union have contributed to the emergence of a new kind of socialism that rejects class conflict and aims to reform capitalism rather than oppose it. Though dry, Judis’s wide-ranging study draws informative connections between disparate world events. Readers will walk away with a firmer grasp on current affairs. (May)