Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 4, 2020

After the Backlash: Populism and the Politics and Ethics of Migration

Stephen Macedo


In the U.S., and elsewhere, populism has been democracy’s way of shaking elites up. We can view populism in part as a revolt of the losers, or perceived losers, of globalization. Yet elites have often paid too little heed to the domestic distributive impact of high immigration and globalized trade. Immigration and globalization are also spurring forms of nativism and demagoguery that threaten both democratic deliberation and undermine progressive political coalitions. The challenge now is to find the most reasonable – or least unreasonable – responses to the new politics of resentment: ways that recognize that egalitarian liberalism and social democracy are national projects and preserve progressive political coalitions, while also acknowledging our interconnections, duties, and moral obligations to those beyond our borders.

Corresponding author: Stephen Macedo, E-mail:

I am grateful to Peter Hall, Nan Keohane, Jane Mansbridge, Kieran Oberman, as well as the participants in the “Democratic Backsliding and Human Rights” conference, and most especially to Benjamin Hofmann for his many insights and perceptive comments.

Published Online: 2020-12-04
Published in Print: 2020-11-25

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