Students at the University of Victoria were taught in two seminars (2019/2020) on the challenges to liberal democracy as part of the outreach activities for the project “Canada-Europe Dialogues on Democracy: Democratic deficit and the rise of populism in Europe”.
The title of the course was: Migration, Populism, and Nationalism – Challenges to Liberal Democracy: A Transatlantic Perspective ”
This third-year seminar (POLI 379) was taught by Dr. Oliver Schmidtke in the spring of 2019 (38 students) and the spring of 2020 (42 students). Course description: Migration has become a highly divisive issue in public debate and competitive party politics. Among other factors, the 2015/16 ‘refugee crisis’ has further contributed to the rise of populist-nationalist forces that mobilize based on anti-immigrant sentiments and a fundamental opposition to mainstream politics. This courses addresses the broader context in which anti-immigrant parties and exclusionary nationalism have gained more prominence and what this development means for the state of liberal democracy. How are issues related to migration politicized across Europe (and North America) with a view to debates surrounding irregular migration, refugee policy, security, borders, multiculturalism and the integration of newcomers? How do these issues play out in electoral and party politics; how are we to explain the rise of the populist, anti-immigrant right and its effects on democracy? The course addressed the following thematic fields with a range of interactive learning tools and engaging illustrations from Europe and North America. See below for more information.