Citizen University: Politics of fear

In the US presidential election campaign and in political discourse across Europe we are seeing a sharp increase in the use of fear as a political weapon. While this has to some degree always been present in politics, it has acquired new force since 9/11, and is now an established tactic of the populist right, who play upon electorates’ concerns about terrorism and immigration by encouraging xenophobia and Islamophobia.
How can progressives most effectively counter this trend? What lessons can history teach us about the dangers of ‘phobiarchy’ and its links to populist dictatorship? Are these forces more powerful in an age of ‘identity politics’? 

  • Paul Teule (1981) currently lectures in European Political Economy at the University of Amsterdam. His recent book Vrijheid voor gevorderden (Freedom for Advanced Readers)(2016) contains a comprehensive rethink of the notion of positive liberal freedom.
  • Roderick Lyall is Emeritus Professor of Literatures in English at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where he taught from 1994 until 2005. He has published widely on late medieval and early modern Scottish and English literature.
Date and time: 26th of January 2017 at 19:30h
Location: Vrije Universiteit: Room F-123 at Gebouw Exacte Wetenschappen W&N; see directions coming from station Amsterdam Zuid on map below)