Saving the People

How Populists Hijack Religion

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Editor(s): 
Nadia Marzouki, Duncan McDonnell, Olivier Roy
  • Oxford, U.K.: 
    Oxford University Press
    , November
     2016.
     288 pages.
     $35.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780190639013.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Ernst van den Hemel forthcoming.

Description

Western democracies are experiencing a new wave of right-wing populism that seeks to mobilize religion for its own ends. With chapters on the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland and Israel, Saving the People asks how populist movements have used religion for their own ends and how church leaders react to them. The authors contend that religion is more about belonging than belief for populists, with religious identities and traditions being deployed to define who can and cannot be part of 'the people'. This in turn helps many populists to claim that native Christian communities are being threatened by a creeping and highly aggressive process of Islamization, with Muslims becoming a key 'enemy of the people'. While Church elites generally condemn this instrumental use of religions, populists take little heed, presenting themselves as the true saviours of the people. The policy implications of this phenomenon are significant, which makes this book all the more timely and relevant to current debate.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Nadia Marzouki is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. Her work examines public controversies about Islam in the U.S. and secularisation and democratisation in North Africa.

Duncan McDonnell is a senior lecturer in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, Brisbane. He has published widely on right-wing populism. His current work focuses on radical right populist alliances in Europe and political party organisations.

Olivier Roy is one of the most distinguished analysts of and commentators on political Islam in the Middle East and Central Asia. The author of several highly acclaimed books, four of which are published by Hurst, he is Professor at the European University Institute in Florence.

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