PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Trevor Harrison

The Promise and Peril of Populism

Dr. Trevor Harrison, Department of Sociology

Recent years have seen a swath of political leaders, notably on the right, espousing populist claims to represent the people. Donald Trump is an obvious example, but there are others such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. Alberta’s own Jason Kenney likewise makes use of populist appeals. But what is populism? Why does it arise at some historical times and not others? Why does populism attract so many people? What is its promise, its perils, and its future? These are just some of the questions examined in this talk.

Trevor W. Harrison is a professor of sociology at the University of Lethbridge and Associate Director of the Prentice Institute for Economy and Population. He is also Director of Parkland Institute, an Alberta-wide research organization, located on the University of Alberta campus. Dr. Harrison is best known for his studies in political sociology, political economy, and public policy. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books, numerous journal articles, chapters, and reports, and a frequent contributor to public media, including radio and television.

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