Populism has become a favored buzzword by pundits and politicians alike, however, few people engage in explaining the exact meaning of the concept. Anton Jaeger discusses its origin in the history of the 19th century US People’s Party and explains that the varying connotations that populism acquired in Europe and the Americas can be traced back to a fierce intellectual debate that took place in the US during the McCarthyist era.
Anton Jaeger took his BA in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Essex. He then went on to do the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge, with Chris Bickerton (POLIS) as supervisor. His MPhil-dissertation, entitled ‘Perspectives on Populism in Post-war Political Science from Pluralism to Discourse Theory, 1955-2005’, was an attempt to write a conceptual genealogy of the term ‘populism’ in the post-war political sciences, focusing on the work of thinkers such as Ernesto Laclau, Richard Hofstadter, and Pierre-André Taguieff.
Anton Jaeger’s PhD-thesis (preliminary title ‘Populism and Producerist Democracy in the Late Nineteenth-Century United States, 1877-c.1896’) will seek to elaborate further on the historical work done during his MPhil, focusing specifically on writing an intellectual history of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth-century United States. His additional intellectual interests are recent theoretical innovations in Marxism (in particular the so-called ‘Neue Marx-Lektüre’ in Germany, accelerationism) and methodological debates in contemporary political theory (Realism).
(Bio borrowed from the University of Cambridge website)