The Rise of the Populist Wave and Trumpism in the US: A Backlash Against Neoliberal Globalisation, Economic Crisis, Dysfunctional Politics and Elitism?

Kurtbağ Ö.

GAZI AKADEMIK BAKIS-GAZI ACADEMIC VIEW, vol.13, no.26, pp.135-164, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 26
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.135-164
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


This study attempts to analyse the rise of the neo-populist wave in the US, which is most evident in Donald Rump's 2016 presidential election victory. Its main argument is that contemporary American populism shares the main traits of populism, such as anti-elitism, the rule of popular will, ideological confusion, and anti-pluralism. Secondly, it contends that the current political landscape of neo-populism has manifested through the decay of a globalised American economy and its fundamental democracy and politics, which demonstrates the need for a major overhaul of the establishment. Thirdly, the study concludes with the observation that populism may play a corrective role in the recovery of the US economy and its politics, and it suggests that if this opportunity cannot be seized then this form of populism could evolve into an illiberal democracy or even authoritarianism.