1st Edition

The New Demagogues Religion, Masculinity and the Populist Epoch

By Joshua M. Roose Copyright 2021
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Chapter 4 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429431197

    Focused on the emergence of US President Donald Trump, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, and the recruitment of Islamic State foreign fighters from Western Muslim communities, this book explores the ways in which the decay and corruption of key social institutions has created a vacuum of intellectual and moral guidance for working people and deprived them of hope and an upward social mobility long considered central to the social contract of Western liberal democracy. Examining the exploitation of this vacuum of leadership and opportunity by new demagogues, the author considers two important yet overlooked dimensions of this new populism: the mobilization of both religion and masculinity. By understanding religion as a dynamic social force that can be mobilized for purposes of social solidarity and by appreciating the sociological arguments that hyper-masculinity is caused by social injury, Roose considers how these key social factors have been particularly important in contributing to the emergence of the new demagogues and their followers. Roose identifies the challenges that this poses for Western liberal democracy and argues that states must look beyond identity politics and exclusively rights-based claims and, instead, consider classical conceptions of citizenship.

    1. Introduction

    2. Populism in the West: Democratic Fault lines and the Rise of the New Demagogues

    3. Religion and Populism

    4. Male Supremacism and Ideological Masculinity

    5. Make Britain Great Again: Farage, Populism and Brexit

    6. Trump: Masculinity and Religion

    7. Western Islamic State Foreign Fighters and Jihadi Masculinity

    8. Religion, Masculinity and the New Populism


    Joshua M. Roose is a Senior Research Fellow in Politics and Religion at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia. He is the author of Political Islam and Masculinity: Australian Muslim Men.

    'The optimistic world of globalization and neo-liberal economics has rapidly disappeared in the last decade. What went wrong? We have a plethora of explanations and definitions, especially of populism, but no comprehensive account. Joshua Roose offers an innovative analysis exploring issues often overlooked by commentators: religion and masculinity. Combining comparative empirical research, historical depth and theoretical inquiry, New Demagogues is sociology at its best.' – Bryan S. Turner, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

    'The New Demagogues is a remarkable and outstanding contribution to one of the most troubling global developments of our times. The destruction of democratic institutions, the loss of civil behavior in liberal democracy, and the hollowing out of the institution of citizenship signal the end of liberal democracy as we knew it. In the wide range of contributions to the by now global debate on the "new populism" there is no comparable work that analyses the widely significance of masculinity and religion as fundamental aspects of the rise of the new leaders and the support they receive. In turning our attention to these so far neglected aspects Joshua Roose provides a unique and invaluable resource for still understudied dimensions of the antidemocratic threat to the world.' – Jürgen Mackert, University of Potsdam, Germany

    'This is a thought-provoking look at some neglected aspects of populism: religion, masculinity, and a sense of loss. It offers original research, thoughtful reflection and some positive proposals.' – Linda Woodhead MBE DD FAcSS, Distinguished Professor of Religion and Society, Lancaster University, UK

    'At this current time of Western political and social turmoil, wrought by the failure of neo-liberal democracies to cater to citizens’ needs in uncertain times, support for a host of new populist leaders is ubiquitous. A book that seeks explanations for this, as well as solutions, is to be welcomed. Roose’s book "The New Demagogues" does just this. While other studies have linked the crisis of working-class masculinities with the rise of populism, this is the first study to consider the role that religion plays in this dynamic. Roose unpicks the role of religion where ‘demagogic actors use religious motifs and narratives to strengthen their populist appeal’ alongside an examination of the ways in which "organised religion also seeks to leverage populism to gain greater political influence". Drawing on case studies of the Brexit campaign in the UK, the rise of Trump in the USA and the recruitment of western Muslims to join the Islamic State, Roose offers a timely account of the intersections between religion, masculinity and the populist epoch that will appeal to researchers and policy makers seeking to better understand these dynamics.' – Emma Tomalin, Professor of Religion and Public Life, University of Leeds, UK