1st Edition

Performance and Politics in a Digital Populist Age Imagining Alternatives

By Cami Rowe Copyright 2023
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book re-evaluates the role of performance in global politics in the face of populism and the digital mediatisation of political interactions. As political communications are increasingly conducted in online environments,‘post-truth’ performances become evermore central to democratic processes. It is therefore essential to reconsider the political potency of performance and theatricality in order to effectively reinvigorate democracy in the 21st century. Drawing on applied theatre practices, this book shows that performance is inherently concerned with cooperative and collaborative encounters across difference, and performance might therefore support effective responses to digital populism. The analysis addresses the performative aspects of populist political movements in the United States and United Kingdom. The chapters engage with aspects of performance and theatricality not commonly broached in IR scholarship, including interpersonal engagement, creative embodiment and interactive affect, making the case for the importance of these features to democratic engagement. This book resonates with recent debates regarding the relevance and treatment of Arts and Performance as IR subjects, methodologies and practices, and will be of interest to scholars and students of global politics, international relations, performance studies, radical democracy, and mass communication and culture.

    Part I: Political Populism through the Lens of Performance 

    1.Performance and Politics 

    2.Populism and Performance  

    3.Encounter and Engagement 

    Part II: Political Embodiment in Digital Populist Contexts 

    4.Embodiment and Perception: Bringing the Inside Out 

    5.Embodiment and Relationality: Bringing the Outside In 

    Part III: The Affective and Aesthetic Dimensions of Populism and Performance 

    6.Fear and Failure 

    7.Pleasure and Beauty


    Cami Rowe works across the disciplines of Theatre, Performance and International Politics. She holds research degrees in International Politics and Theatre. Based at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, her research addresses the theatrical elements of global politics and the efficacy of performance interventions.