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Chapter

Cover Politics

16. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and Populism  

This chapter explores the role of civil society, interest groups, and populism in politics. It first considers the concept of ‘civil society’ and how it came to be associated with the protests that brought down communist regimes in Eastern Europe, along with its role in the Arab Spring. It then looks at interest groups as a major component of civil society, the rise of corporatism, and the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ or politics from below. It also discusses the growing phenomenon of populism as a way of enhancing the status and position of previously neglected groups in democracies as well as a challenge to liberal democracies. A case study on populism online involving Beppe Grillo and the Five star Movement is presented. The chapter suggests that populist politicians make use of the media to forge a direct relationship with their supporters.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

5. From the end of the cold war to a new world dis-order?  

Michael Cox

This chapter provides a broad overview of the international system between the end of the cold war—when many claimed that liberalism and the West had triumphed—through to the second decade of the twenty-first century, when the West itself and the liberal economic order it had hitherto promoted appeared to be coming under increased pressure from political forces at home and new challenges abroad. But before turning to the present, the chapter looks at some of the key developments since 1989—including the Clinton presidency, the George W. Bush administration's foreign policy following the attacks of 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, the crisis in Europe, the transitions taking place in the global South, the origins of the upheavals now reshaping the Middle East, the political shift from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the emergence of Asia, and the rise of China. The chapter then concludes by examining two big questions: first, is power now shifting away from the West, and second, to what extent does the current wave of populism in the West threaten globalization and the liberal order?

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

4. From the end of the cold war to a new world dis-order?  

Michael Cox

This chapter provides a broad overview of the international system between the end of the cold war— when many claimed that liberalism and the West had triumphed— through to the second decade of the twenty-first century, when the West itself and the liberal economic order it had hitherto promoted appeared to be coming under increased pressure from political forces at home and new challenges abroad. But before we turn to the present, the chapter will look at some of the key developments since 1989—including the Clinton presidency, the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy following the attacks of 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, the crisis in Europe, the transitions taking place in the global South, the origins of the upheavals now reshaping the Middle East, the political shift from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the emergence of Asia, and the rise of China. The chapter then concludes by examining two big questions: first, is power now shifting away from the West, and second, to what extent does the current wave of populism in the West threaten globalization and the liberal order?