Left populism and socialism today

Course Dates: 02/07/24 - 23/07/24
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Location: Keeley Street
This course will provide an overview of the politics of ‘Left populism’ in their historical perspective and contemporary manifestations as well as in their relation to socialist politics.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00

Left populism and socialism today
  • Course Code: HPC138
  • Dates: 02/07/24 - 23/07/24
  • Time: 18:30 - 20:30
  • Taught: Tue, Evening
  • Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Salome Ietter

Course Code: HPC138

Tue, eve, 02 Jul - 23 Jul '24

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Populism is often seen today as a phenomenon pertaining to the far-Right. This course will bring some contrast to this view by looking at ‘Left populism’ in its historical perspective but also in its contemporary manifestations, as well as in its relations to the socialist project.

We will analyse the similarities and differences between socialist politics and populist politics from a historical perspective, and critically observe parties and new movements on the Left today and how we can understand their political project in terms of socialism and populism.

We will be asking whether left populism can represent a new strategy for socialist politics to address their current challenges and what issues does that strategy encounter.

What will we cover?

- Definitions of populism
- Historical perspective on populism
- Similarities and differences between populism and socialism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries
- The revival of populism as a strategy for the Left in the 1980s – with a focus on Latin America
- The contemporary challenges of socialist parties and the general state of the socialist project from the 1980s onwards
- The rise of Left populism in the 2010s in Europe (notably in Greece, Spain, France and Germany) and the US
- The current challenges to Left populism and socialism (2020s).

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Distinguish right-wing populism from left-wing populism
- Explain the historical developments of populism and the role it played on the Left
- Understand some of the key strategical debates on the Left at the turn of the 21st century
- Analyse the socialist character of Left Populist politics and parties today.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is at an introductory level and is suitable for those new to the subject as well as those who have some familiarity with the topics to be covered. A good grasp of English to keep up with the course and participate fully is necessary. As with most of our history and politics courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will run in person and use a combination of lectures, backed by PowerPoint presentations, and discussions in large and small groups. Material to prepare the discussions will be available on the course website, and will include short extracts from key authors on Left populism and on its place within socialist politics as well as newspapers pieces on various case studies we will be studying.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. You may wish to bring pen and paper or a digital equivalent for notetaking.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

- HPC141: Looking beyond headlines: colonialism and contemporary conflicts.

Salome Ietter

Dr Salomé Ietter got her PhD in political theory from Queen Mary University of London in October 2023, advancing the concept of ‘anti-populism’ to study neoliberal responses to popular protests and social movements in the UK and France. She has taught students for 5 years at Queen Mary and King’s College and is now a lecturer at the University of Warwick, teaching on race and racism, the politics of gender in global politics. Her research is on race and class in Northern England and Northern France; and her teaching and research interests revolve around capitalism and colonialism, neoliberalism, populism and anti-populism, the politics of race and gender, and political discourses and ideologies. Her classes aim to be friendly, inclusive and participatory, to make education an empowering and social endeavour that enables everyone learn from each other as much as learn specific content and skills. She is very excited to start at City Lit and connect with City Lit learners. In her leisure time, Salomé enjoys theatre, music, and outdoor activities such as trail running, hiking, and triathlons.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.