Introduction: Analyzing the Nexus Between Populism and International Relations

  • Frank A. StengelEmail author
  • David B. MacDonald
  • Dirk Nabers
Part of the Global Political Sociology book series (GLPOSO)


Although populism research has become somewhat of a cottage industry in recent years, the phenomenon’s international or global aspects remain yet to be explored. While populism researchers have mainly focused on theoretical and methodological issues, or studied individual cases (whether in single case studies or in a comparative fashion), International Relations scholars have, aside from not even a handful of studies, until recently ignored the phenomenon. With the election of Donald J. Trump to the US presidency, the need for research on the nexus between populism and world politics has become blatantly obvious. This introduction (1) explores the disconnect between populism research and IR, (2) makes the case for an increased engagement between the two, highlighting populism’s potential impact on foreign policy, international cooperation and conflict, regional and world order (s) as well as international effects on populist successes (“second image reversed”), (3) provides an overview of the chapters of the volume and situates their individual contributions within the larger framework of the populism-world politics nexus.


Populism Foreign policy analysis World politics World order International Relations 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank A. Stengel
    • 1
    Email author
  • David B. MacDonald
    • 2
  • Dirk Nabers
    • 1
  1. 1.Kiel UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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