IIAS Lecture | Populism and Democratic Crisis in Western Countries


On the morning of April 19, 2023, the Institute for International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University hosted the lecture themed “Populism and Democratic Crisis in Western Countries” both online and offline, which was an extension of the course “Comparative Political Development” in the spring semester. The lecture was delivered by Chang Yu-tzung, Professor of the Department of Political Science, Director of the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Law, National Taiwan University. Su Yusong, Professor of the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, presided over the lecture. More than 150 people attended the lecture, including IIAS doctoral students and scholars and students from other universities and research institutes at home and abroad.

In this lecture, Professor Chang Yu-tzung gave examples to illustrate the development and impact of populism in the West, including the definition of populism, its origins and its impact. Professor Chang began by reviewing the recent election results in Brazil and Hungary. He introduced the history of research on populism and related concepts, and explained the characteristics, context and propositions of populism and core ideas of research on populism. Taking elections in United States, Britain and other countries as examples, he outlined the root causes of populism, such as economic unease and cultural backlash among the public. Finally, Professor Chang examined the influence of populism and its leaders on the Western democratic system from different perspectives, such as electoral democracy, liberal democracy and consultative democracy, providing inspiration for a deeper understanding of populism and the Western democratic system.

During the Q&A session, Professor Chang had a lively exchange with the online and offline audiences on a range of topics, such as the examples of populism worldwide.

Text editor: Guo Ziyi

Proofreaders: Su Yusong, Chang Yu-tzung