The Global Dimension of the “Populist Wave”: Possibilities for Differentiated Analysis

Cover Page

Cite item


The article attempts to reveal if it is possible to make a differentiated analysis of the global dimension of populism by systematizing foreign (mainly) and domestic studies. This allowed us to correlate the theoretical and comparative developments of research on populism, on the one hand, and the relevant, traditional problem areas of the international relations theory. This approach helped us to demonstrate both the existing and potential possibilities for a differentiated analysis of the global aspects of populism. The scientific novelty of the article lies in determining the possibilities of the academic field for the analysis of the foreign policy effects of populism. As a result of the study, the author concluded that the foreign policy positions and policies of populists derive from domestic politics and their opposition to traditional elites. Structural pressure (pressure of the international environment) and the adoption of the rules of the game after coming to power, even if the anti-elite discourse is maintained, make attempts to typify and classify populist foreign policy positions extremely complex and often unproductive.

About the authors

Sergey A. Shein

National Research University Higher School of Economics

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9749-9116

PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor at School of International Regional Studies, Research Fellow at Centre of Comprehensive European and International Studies

Moscow, Russian Federation

Artem A. Alikin

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0969-0752

Research Assistant at Centre of Comprehensive European and International Studies

Moscow, Russian Federation


  1. Bale, T. (2019). Populism as an intra-party phenomenon: The British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21(1), 99-115.
  2. Bale, T., & Watts, J. (2018) Populism as an intra-party phenomenon: The British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21(1), 99–115.
  3. Barr, R. Populism as a political strategy. (2018). In C. De la Torre (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Global Populism (pp. 44–56). Routledge.
  4. Blokker, P. (2019). Populist Governments and International Law: A Reply to Heike Krieger. European Journal of International Law, 30(3), 1009–1019.
  5. Boucher, J.-C., & Thies, C. (2019). “I Am a Tariff Man”: The Power of Populist Foreign Policy Rhetoric under President Trump. The Journal of Politics, 81(2), 712–722.
  6. Cadier, D., & Lequesne, C. (2020). How Populism Impacts EU Foreign Policy. EU-LISTCO Policy Paper Series, 8.
  7. Cadier, D., & Szulecki, K. (2020). Populism, historical discourse and foreign policy: the case of Poland’s Law and Justice government. International Politics 57. 990–1011.
  8. Chryssogelos, A. (2017). Populism in Foreign Policy. Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Politics.
  9. Chryssogelos, A. (2018). State transformation and populism: From the internationalized to the neosovereign state? Politics, 40(1), 22–37
  10. Coticchia, F., & Vignoli, V. (2020). Populist parties and foreign policy: The case of Italy’s Five Star Movement. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 22(3), 523–541.
  11. De Sá Guimarães, F., & De Oliveira E Silva, I. (2021). Far-right populism and foreign policy identity: Jair Bolsonaro’s ultra-conservatism and the new politics of alignment. International Affairs, 97(2), 345–363.
  12. Diodato, E., & Niglia, F. (2019). Berlusconi ‘The Diplomat’. Populism and Foreign Policy in Italy. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  13. Drezner, D. (2017). The Angry Populist As a Foreign Policy Leader: Real Change or Just Hot Air. Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, 41(2), 3–43.
  14. Dueck, C. (2019). Populism, Foreign Policy, and the GOP. In C. Dueck (Ed.), Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism. Oxford University Press.
  15. Exadaktylos, T. (2020). Populism in Foreign Policy: Shifting Paradigms in Greek Political Parties. Marmara Journal of European Studies, 28(2), 179–201.
  16. Filipović, A. (2020). The influence of right-wing populist parties upon the national policies towards the Russian Federation: the case of the Progress Party (Norway) and the Danish People’s Party. SENTENTIA, European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1, 1–35. https://
  17. Glurlando, P. (2020). Populist foreign policy: the case of Italy. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 27(2), 251–267.
  18. Göksel, O. (2019). Foreign Policy Making in the Age of Populism: The Uses of Anti-Westernism in Turkish Politics. New Middle Eastern Studies, 9(1).
  19. Hall, J. (2020). In search of enemies: Donald Trump’s populist foreign policy rhetoric. Politics, 41(1), 48–63.
  20. Higgott, R., & Proud, V. (2017). Populist-Nationalism and Foreign Policy: Cultural Diplomacy, International Interaction and Resilience. (ifa Edition Culture and Foreign Policy). Stuttgart: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen).
  21. Jenne, E. (2021). Populism, nationalism and revisionist foreign policy. International Affairs, 97(2), 323–343.
  22. Kaliber, A., & Kaliber, E. 2019. From De-Europeanisation to Anti-Western Populism: Turkish
  23. Foreign Policy in Flux. The International Spectator, 54(4), 1–16. 0/03932729.2019.1668640
  24. Kallis, A. (2018). Populism, Sovereigntism, and the Unlikely Re-Emergence of the Territorial Nation-State. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Science, 11, 285–302. https://
  25. Kane, C., & McCulloch, C. (2017). Populism and Foreign Policy: Deepening Divisions and Decreasing Efficiency. Global Politics Review, 3(2), 39–52.
  26. Kreiger, H. (2019). Populist Governments and International Law. European Journal of International Law. Oxford University Press, 30(3), 971–996.
  27. Lacatus, C. (2021). Populism and President Trump’s approach to foreign policy: An analysis of tweets and rally speeches. Politics, 41(1), 31–47. URL: pdf/10.1177/0263395720935380
  28. Laclau, E. (2005). On a populist reason. Verso: London.
  29. Lapham, L. (2016). Age of Folly: America Abandons Its Democracy. New York: Verso Books.
  30. Leslie, J. (2017). Netanyahu’s Populism: An Overlooked Explanation for Israeli Foreign Policy. The SAIS Review of International Affairs. Johns Hopkins University Press, 37(1), 75–82.
  31. Liang, C.S. (2007). Europe for the Europeans: The foreign and security policy of the populist radical right. In: C.S. Liang (Ed.), Europe for the Europeans (pp. 1–32). Hampshire: Ashgate.
  32. Löfflmann, G. (2019). America First and the Populist Impact on US Foreign Policy. Global Politics and Strategy, 61, 115–138.
  33. Lovec, M., & Bojinović Fenko, A. (2020). Populism in the Foreign Policy of Central European States. Teorija in Praksa, 56(4), 1152–1172.
  34. MacDonald, D., Stengel, F., & Nabers, D. (2019). Populism and World Politics Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions. Palgrave Macmillan.
  35. Magcamit, M. (2017). Explaining the Three-Way Linkage Between Populism, Securitization, and Realist Foreign Policies: President Donald Trump and the Pursuit of “America First” Doctrine. World Affairs, 180(3), 6–35.
  36. March, L. (2017). Left and Right Populism Compared: The British case. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 19(2), 282-303.
  37. Mead W. (2011).The Tea Party and American foreign policy: What populism means for globalism. Foreign Affairs, 90(2), 28–44
  38. Melville, A. Yu. (2004). On Trajectories of Post-Communist Transformations. Polis. Political Studies, 2, 64–75. (In Russian).
  39. Mudde, C., & Kaltwasser, C. (2012). Populism in Europe and the Americas: Threat or corrective for democracy. Cambridge University Press.
  40. Mudde, С. (2004). The Populist Zeitgeist. Government and Opposition, 39(4), 541–563. https://
  41. Mudde, C. (2016). The Study of Populist Radical Right Parties: Towards a Fourth Wave. C-REX WORKING PAPER SERIES, 1. Center for Research on Extremism, The Extreme Right, Hate Crime and Political Violence, University of Oslo. URL: publications/c-rex-working-paper-series/Cas%20Mudde:%20The%20Study%20of%20Populist%20Radical%20Right%20Parties.pdf
  42. Müller, J.-W. (2016). What is populism? Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (Müller, J.-W. What is populism? (2018). Moscow: Publishing House of the Higher School of Economics. (In Russian).
  43. Musikhin, G. (2009). Populism: a structural characteristic of politics or a flawed ideology? Politeia, 4(55), 40–53. (In Russian).
  44. Ozpek, B., & Yasar, N. (2018). Populism and foreign policy in Turkey under the AKP rule. Turkish Studies, 19(2), 98–216.
  45. Plagemann, J., & Destradi, S. (2019a). Populism and Foreign Policy: The Case of India. Foreign Policy Analysis, 15(2), 283–301.
  46. Plagemann, J., & Destradi, S. (2019b). Populism and International Relations: (Un)predictability, personalisation, and the reinforcement of existing trends in world politics. Review of International Studies, 45(5), 711–730.
  47. Rudolphy, M. (2019). Populist Governments and International Law: A Reply to Heike Krieger. European Journal of International Law, 30(3), 997–1008.
  48. Sagarzazu, I., & Thies, C. (2019). The Foreign Policy Rhetoric of Populism: Chavez, Oil, and Antiimperialism. Political Research Quarterly, 72 (1), 205–214.
  49. Skonieczny, A. (2018). Emotions and Political Narratives: Populism, Trump and Trade. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Emotions within Politics and International Relations, 6(4).
  50. Shein, S. (2020) The role of conservatism in the development of populism in Europe (a case of the United Kingdom). World economy and international relations, 2, 34–41.
  51. Stanley, B. (2008). The thin ideology of populism. The Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(1), 95–110.
  52. Stengel, F.A., & MacDonald, D.B. (eds.). (2019). Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions (Global Political Sociology). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2019.
  53. Tevdoi — Bumurli, A. (2018). Ethnopolitical dynamics of the European Union: a textbook for university students. Moscow: Aspekt — Press. (In Russian).
  54. Verbeek, B., & Zaslove, A. (2017). Populism and Foreign Policy. In C. R. Kaltwasser, P. Taggart, P. O. Espejo, P. Ostiguy (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Populism. Oxford University Press, 384–405.
  55. Verbeek, B., & Zaslove, A. (2015) The Impact of Populist Radical Right Parties on Foreign Policy: The Northern League as a Junior Coalition Partner in the Berlusconi Governments. European Political Science Review, 7(4), 525–546.
  56. Voeten, E. Populism and Backlashes Against International Courts. Perspectives on Politics, 18(2), 407–422.
  57. Wajner, D. F. (2000). Exploring the foreign policies of populist governments: (Latin) America First. Journal of International Relations and Development, 4, 651–680.
  58. Wajner, D. F. (2019). Making (Latin) America Great Again: Lessons from Populist Foreign Policies in the Americas. In F. Stengel, D. MacDonald, D. Nabers (Eds.), Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions (pp. 195–225). Book Series: Global Political Sociology. Springer International Publishing.
  59. Wehner. L., & Thies, C. G. (2020). The nexus of populism and foreign policy: The case of Latin America. International Relations, 35(2), 320–340.
  60. Weyland, K. (2001). Clarifying a Contested Concept Populism in the Study of Latin American Politics. Comparative Politics, 34, 1–22.
  61. Wojczewski, T. (2020a). Populism, Hindu Nationalism, and Foreign Policy in India: The Politics of Representing “the People”. International Studies Review, 22(3), 396–422.
  62. Wojczewski, T. (2020b). Trump, Populism, and American Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Analysis, 16(3), 292–311.
  63. Yaşar, N. T., Özpek, B. B. (2018). Populism and foreign policy in Turkey under the AKP rule. Turkish Studies, 19(2), 198–216.

Copyright (c) 2022 Shein S.A., Alikin A.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies