This book explores how a candidate who broke with almost every single norm
governing candidate behaviour, appeared to eschew the professionalised forms of
campaigning, and who had been more or less disowned by Republican elites, prove
victorious? The focus is on Trump and his campaign; the account does not go
beyond the November election and its immediate aftermath. The book argues that
the Trump campaign, like earlier populist insurgencies, can be explained in part
by considering some defining features of US political culture and, in
particular, attitudes towards government. It explains the right-wing populism
that has been a recurrent and ingrained feature of the political process over a
long period. The book discusses structural characteristics of the American state
that appear to be of particular significance in shaping attitudes, as well as
some other ideas and frames brought to the forefront by the Trump campaign
during the course of 2015 and 2016. It also considers the shifts and swings
amongst voters and suggests that these, alongside ideas about the state and the
'entrepreneurial' efforts of the campaign, form part of the
explanation for Trump's eventual victory. The book assesses Trump's
ascendancy as a function of, and reaction to, the strategies and discourses
pursued in the years preceding 2016 by Republican Party elites.
'Trumpism' and European forms of populism are still in some ways
weakly embedded but they may intensify the battles and processes of group
competition between different constituencies.
Within the broad context of generalised anti-government ideas and entrenched populist sentiments outlined in Chapter 2 , other ideas and frames were brought to the forefront by the Trumpcampaign during the course of 2015 and 2016.
At first sight, these ideas do not appear to take a structured or coherent form. Indeed, National Review , the flagship US conservative magazine, was brutally dismissive at the beginning of election year:
Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus
did a candidate who broke with almost every single norm governing candidate behaviour, appeared to eschew the professionalised forms of campaigning that have been adopted in recent years, and who had been more or less disowned by Republican elites, prove victorious?
This book seeks to answer that question. It argues that the Trumpcampaign, like earlier populist insurgencies, can be explained in part by considering some defining features of US political culture and, in particular, attitudes towards government. Having said that, ‘culture’ is a term that must
The book has already surveyed some of the different explanatory frameworks that can be employed to account for Trump's eventual victory. It has considered the populist tradition and the ways in which it was at least in part shaped by the structures of the state, the ideational character of the Trumpcampaign, the impact of economic malaise and globalising processes upon the white working class, and the deeply felt opposition amongst many Republican voters and ‘leaners’ to Hillary Clinton who was seen as a divisive ‘machine’ candidate.
This chapter looks at
the legacy of the New Deal. In the 1990s Patrick J. Buchanan contested the Republican primaries by appealing to white ‘middle American radicals’ by attacking immigration and free trade. 1 Although closer to core Republican traditions, the Tea Party movement which took shape in early 2009 just a few weeks after President Obama's inauguration, also drew upon quasi-populist visions of a struggle by the citizenry to restore constitutional government.
Although there were important differences, the 2016 Trumpcampaign reproduced some of the ideas and frames that
Donald Trump, neoliberalism and political reconfiguration
together, this wave constitutes the biggest change in the European political landscape at least since the fall of the Berlin Wall (Heinö, 2016 : 4).
In the US, because party structures are much more porous and pliable, the populist surge was channelled through a two-party system and, given Trump's primary victories, the pressures were felt most immediately and acutely within the Republican Party. Established conservative currents were brutally disrupted. There were also class divisions that added to the tensions within Republican ranks. The Trumpcampaign captured
, African-American turnout dipped and while Hispanic and Asian-American turnout increased, minority voters failed to give Clinton the level of support that Obama had secured in 2008 and 2012 (CNN Politics, 2016 ). 4 In contrast, whites, particularly working-class whites, increasingly identified with Republicanism and embraced the economic and cultural themes that defined the Trumpcampaign. They constructed a notion of interest based upon restricting trade and immigration, toughness towards foreign and domestic enemies, strong leadership, opposition to the Washington
(to paraphrase Raoul Veneigem).
The intrusion of the ‘post-truth’ storm into this liberal idyll is really just the
return of the repressed. The affective underpinning to political theory and praxis
has always been there; it has just been overlooked or suppressed for the sake
of securing certain ends. Political economy too has always been augmented
by affect: hope and fear, pleasure and pain, love and hatred, happiness and discontent. It is perhaps the case that the lamentable Brexit and Trumpcampaigns
succeeded precisely where their opponents failed, namely, in
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
Nationalism has reasserted itself today as the political force of our times, remaking European politics wherever one looks. Britain is no exception, and in the midst of Brexit, it has even become a vanguard of nationalism's confident return to the mainstream. Brexit, in the course of generating a historically unique standard of sociopolitical uncertainty and constitutional intrigue, tore apart the two-party compact that had defined the parameters of political contestation for much of twentieth-century Britain. This book offers a wide-ranging picture of the different theoretical accounts relevant to addressing nationalism. It briefly repudiates the increasingly common attempts to read contemporary politics through the lens of populism. The book explores the assertion of 'muscular liberalism' and civic nationalism. It examines more traditional, conservative appeals to racialised notions of blood, territory, purity and tradition as a means of reclaiming the nation. The book also examines how neoliberalism, through its recourse to discourses of meritocracy, entrepreneurial self and individual will, alongside its exaltation of a 'points-system' approach to the ills of immigration, engineers its own unique rendition of the nationalist crisis. There are a number of important themes through which the process of liberal nationalism can be documented - what Arun Kundnani captured, simply and concisely, as the entrenchment of 'values racism'. These include the 'faux-feminist' demonisation of Muslims.