This book examines the meaning of Brexit, the election of Trump and the rising tide of populist revolt on the right amidst the collapse of the left. Exploring the reaction against the establishment or ‘the system’, the author contends that we are witnessing a new divide between those who wish to see an interconnected world and those who seek distance: as transport and technology shrink the world, we witness a backlash that favours protectionism and opposes immigration. Distance is the new frontier: for some, remote players are rejected in favour of identities closer to home. This divide plays out in relation to the notion of ‘face’, as individuals react to ‘faceless’ organisations and processes such as globalisation and automation, responding to a sense of alienation on social media and developing a conception of themselves as networked individuals. Thus, we move towards a type of society characterised not by honour and dishonour, or right and wrong, but by voice and choice. A fascinating and very accessible analysis of the divisions and transformations that have come to dominate the contemporary landscape, this book will appeal to political leaders and social scientists with interests in globalisation, social movements and social theory.
"A bold and wide-ranging book which isn’t afraid to look at the big picture and relate recent events to wider social trends."
Linda Woodhead, Lancaster University, UK.
"In a world that is increasingly prey to populism and revolt, and is at the same time replete with the forces of alienation and marginalisation, we need clear-headed and far-sighted thinkers to chart the landscape that lies before us. Christopher Steed assesses the contemporary culture in which we find ourselves, and offers helpful critiques that will act as important guideposts for our futures. Steed’s accessible and penetrating insights are a must for all those concerned with mapping the way forward."
The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, UK.
"What lies behind the political upheavals of Brexit, Trump and the rise of populist political parties? Chris Steed explores the paradox of a world that is both becoming smaller and leaving millions at the mercy of faceless forces."
John Denham, University of Winchester, UK.
Setting the Scene: Waking the Sleeping Dog - A First Draft of History
1. Trump Cards
2. The Irrelevance of Geography and The Forces of Change
3. Forces of Reaction (Identity, Place and Familiar Face)
4. Forces of Reaction (Immigration Panic, Walls and Bridges)
5. Forces of Reaction and The Flight from The Impersonal
6. ‘Weeks When Decades Happen’: Alienation Old and New
7. Lonely Exodus of the 21st Century: The Social Cost of Disconnection
8. ‘So Near Yet So Far’: Simmel, The Stranger and The Estranged
9. The Rise of Voice and Choice (Thinking Like a Consumer)
10. ‘Facework’ nd the Rise of Voice and Choice
11. The Battles We Fought (The Respect, Human Rights and Dignity Agendas)
12. From Honour Society to Voice and Choice Society
Postscript: Lord of The Lies: The Image System and A Theory of Emotional Cognition