Mabel M. Berezin on fascism, populism, and the January 6 coup

Mabel M. Berezin, professor of Sociology was interviewed by the Illiberalism Studies Program on her research on historic and contemporary fascism. The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world and it is part of The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, located in Washington, D.C. 

Professor Berezin points out that the cultural framing of a political movement is what gives it relevance even beyond the regime or politicians themselves. Such as the role that the Catholic Church and motherhood had in Mussolini's politics. According to Prof Berezin, in contemporary examples of populism, cultural symbols such as fairness have been activated as political validation. “The universality of fairness as an emotion coupled with its substantive ambiguity renders fairness a benign rhetorical strategy in contrast to Trump’s more hateful language. “ said Berezin.

To read the full interview in

Photo credit: Brett Davids Flickr

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Head shot Mabel Berezein