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Populism and Foreign Policy: Deepening Divisions and Decreasing Efficiency

Catherine Kane () and Caitlin McCulloch ()

Global Politics Review, 2017, vol. 3, issue 2, 39-52

Abstract: With the rise of populism across the global system, gauging populism’s impact on foreign policy becomes more and more important. One particular form of contemporary populism especially on the rise in the West is radical right populism, blending nativism and anti-establishment sentiments. Using new survey data from the United States and qualitative interviews with foreign policy experts in the Republic of Georgia, we show that this form of contemporary populism has two major implications for foreign policy. First, that the nativist rhetoric and proposed policies of populist leaders deepen divisions in foreign policy attitudes among the electorate and make compromise by lawmakers on matters of foreign policy and immigration difficult. Second, that the anti-establishment demands of populists will lead to new, inexperienced foreign policy officials, producing a foreign policy apparatus that is fickle and inefficient, especially in crisis situations.

Keywords: Populism; Foreign Policy; Nativism; Public Opinion; Anti-establishment Sentiments. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Y8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:gpr:journl:v:3:y:2017:i:2:p:39-52