1st Edition

The Populist Logic on the Environment

    The Populist Logic on the Environment provides a framework that draws from populism’s essence to explain populist politicians’ approaches to the environment.

    Over the past few decades, populism has spread across the world – particularly in Europe, but also notably in the US, South America, and Asia. Its essential features – especially its ideological 'thinness' – mean that we can observe considerable variations across populists in their environmental stances. This holds across the political spectrum from the left to the right, despite the traditional tendency of right-wing parties to be skeptical of pro-environmental positions and of left-wing parties to subscribe to them. Regardless of variations, however, ‘true populists’ can be expected to consistently anchor environmental stances in people-centrism and anti-elitism – in ways linked to additional party-specific factors. This book systematizes analytically what the literature observes, corrects some of its empirical limitations, and allows for reflection on the commitment by any one populist party to the environment. The authors undertake a cross-regional analysis of four case studies to illustrate their argument: Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, the US Republican Party led by Donald Trump, Spain’s Podemos led by Pablo Iglesias, and Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime in Venezuela.

    This book will appeal to scholars and students of political science, public policy, environmental studies, sociology, and geography, as well as a general audience interested in populism and the environment.

    Introduction: The Rise of Populism and the Environmental Question


    Chapter 1.  The Limits of the Existing Research on Populism and the Environment


    Chapter 2.  A Framework for the Populist Logic on the Environment


    Chapter 3.  Methodology


    Chapter 4.  Right-Wing and Pro-Environment in France: National Rally's Nationalistic Green Localism


    Chapter 5.  Right-Wing and Anti-Environment in the US: Trump’s ‘America First’ Populism


    Chapter 6.  Left-Wing and Pro-Environment in Spain: Podemos’s Bottom-Up Agenda


    Chapter 7. Left-Wing and Anti-Environment in Venezuela: Chávez’s and Maduro’s Anti-Capitalist Resource Nationalism


    Chapter 8.  Reflections on the Populist Approach to the Environment: Present and Futures




    Francesco Duina is Charles A. Dana Professor in the Department of Sociology, and Social Sciences Division Chair, at Bates College, USA.

    Hermione Xiaoqing Zhou is a Thomas J. Watson Fellow for 2023–2024.