Authoritarian populism and the rural world

What is the role of rural areas in supporting populist politicians? And how do rural areas become the main target of populist and authoritarian politics?

Tea party cart

Photo: Ano Lobb (Flickr)


1. Introduction by Marc Edelman

2. Panel discussion with:

  • Marc Edelman, City University of New York
  • Tor Benjaminsen, Noragric, NMBU
  • Antulio Rosales, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), UiO
  • Amita Baviskar, Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi
  • Sindre Bangstad, KIFO, Institute for Church, Religion, and Worldview Research

Moderator: Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Associate Professor, UiO

About the seminar

In 2016, the election of Donald Trump made evident a growing divide among voters: the rural-urban gap. Although it is not surprising that rural and urban voters vote differently, it seems like the rural population more recently has been turning towards populist candidates across the world.

From the left in Venezuela to the extreme right in Russia and the USA, we also see the emergence of more authoritarian forms of governance. This authoritarianism aim to limit the media, control freedom of speech and use subtle or violent ways to control discontent or fabricate consent.

Can this be characterized as “authoritarian populism” and if so, why are we seeing it now? What is the role of rural areas in supporting such forms of governance, or how do rural areas become the main target of authoritarian politics?

Panel participants will discuss these issues drawing on different contexts, from the USA and Venezuela, to Mali and India, and to Europe.

About the Organizers

We arrange this event as part of the PhD course Rural Transformations in the 21st Century. It is co-organized by

Published June 28, 2018 11:16 AM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2019 8:55 AM