Conflict Frontiers Seminar 7 -- Using MPP to Understand the Authoritarian Populism Problem


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See also: Frontiers Seminar 8 -- MPP-based Strategies for Addressing the Authoritarian Populism Problem

One of the greatest threats to democracy and world and national peace today is what we (and others) call "authoritarian populism."  What follows is a series of posts (based on conflict mapping ideas implicit in Massively Parallel Peace Building -- MPP) explaining what this is, how and why it has developed in the U.S. and elsewhere. In Frontiers Seminar 8 we will be utilizing an MPP-based approach to explore avenues for reversing or resisting such tendencies while still addressing the many legitimate grievances raised by populists on the left and the right. Posts in this seminar include:

Conflict Frontiers Posts:

  • Using the MPP Action List: The Authoritarian Populism Example (Part I) -- Here we introduce a set of posts we plan to show how the MPP Action List can actually be used to address a problem that is high on people's minds in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere around the world. -- July 23, 2018
  • Using the MPP Action List: The Authoritarian Populism Example (Part II)  -- This video highlights a few of the actions from each of the ten challenges on the MPP Action List that are particularly important for addressing the U.S. Authoritarian Populism problem.-- July 24, 2018
  • Mapping the Authoritarian Populism “Conflict Complex," an Overview -- Authoritarian populism is actually a complex array of complex conflicts. This post introduces a series of posts designed to make it easier to understand what's going on.
  • Mapping the Continuum between Democracy and Authoritarianism -- First things first, what do we mean by authoritarianism and how does it relate to democracy.
  • The Red/Blue Cultural Divide -- In the first of a set of posts, we will explore how conflict mapping (and later, the other action steps) can be used to address a real-world problem--in this case the core moral conflict in the U.S. and elsewhere between right-leaning "traditionalists and left-leaning "cosmopolitans over cultural, social, and political change.
  • The Purple/Gold Distributional Divide -- This will look at another core aspect of the authoritarian populism problem:  the distributional conflict between four major groups: the "1%"; the "99%", the "left behinds", and the "protected classes"--a U.S. legal term for race, color religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, and veteran status.
  • Red, Blue, Gold Interactions, Destructive Polarization and the Peacebuilding Imperative -- Using a triangular, graphical map of the above, interlocking conflicts, this post will explain how things have polarized into an all out left versus right conflict and outline how peacebuilding strategies could constructively "repolarize" the conflict as a struggle between the authoritarians and those who want to make democracy work.
  • The Divide and Conquer Authoritarian / Plutocratic Threat   -- One example of overlay issues is understanding how the cultural and distributional core conflict issues are being exacerbated (and sometimes initiated) by authoritarian "wannabes" for selfish purposes unrelated to the core issues of the parties.

Related Conflict Fundamentals Posts:

  • Core and Overlays Part 2 -- Following on from an examination of core factors, this article examines the Burgess's notion of "complicating factors" that also contribute to intractability.
  • Leaders and Leadership -- An examination of the different meanings of the word "leader," what makes leaders good or bad, and the dynamics between a group and their leader.
  • High-Stakes Distributional Issues -- A further discussion of one of the Burgess's core factors driving intractability. -- April 10, 2018
  • Inequality -- Inequality was a key driver of intractability when this article was written--it is even more so now. -- April 12, 2018
  • Moral or Value Conflicts -- Value conflicts cannot be dealt with as if they were interest-based conflicts, although that's how mediators are often taught to handle them. -- April 13, 2018
  • Identity Issues -- Identity has long been identified as a driver of intractability. This essay explains why, and what can be done to address these conflicts. -- April 14, 2018
  • Status and power struggles -- Another core driver of intractability--the fight over social status never seems to end, as is discussed in this Fundamentals Post. -- April 15, 2018
  • Power -- Power, also, is more complex than it seems. This explains the difference between power sources, power strategies and when to use what. -- April 16, 2018
  • Oppression -- Written by well-known conflict scholar Morton Deutsch, the entire series is more relevant today than ever. -- April 18, 2018
  • Humiliation -- While commonly used, humiliation is extremely destructive--to its victims, and also, often, to the person or group doing the humiliation as well. -- April 19, 2018

Related BI-In-Context Posts:

Photo Credits

  • Democracy / Authoritarianism Graphic -- Guy Burgess