Democratic politics has undergone a profound transformation in recent decades. The structuring logic of political competition is no longer the ideological struggle between left and right. Political actors today compete in their appeals to ‘the people’ and to competence and expertise as supreme political virtues. The substance of contemporary democratic politics is these populist and technocratic claims, giving rise to a political field which we call technopopulism.
In this talk Christopher Bickerton will define the concept of technopopulism and differentiate it from the ideological political field that dominated the 20th century. He will then discuss a variety of different ways in which populist and technocratic appeals have been combined into a single political offer, using as the principle examples the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
The talk will conclude with a reflection on the challenge technopopulism poses to representative democracy. This talk is based on a book of the same title, co-authored by Christopher Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti (CUNY), forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2020.