Economic Justice and Global Political Trends:
Framing the Fight over Populism
In this podcast, Dr. Shana Marshall frames global discussions on populist trends in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Marshall argues that populism is an articulation of global capitalism that is marked by an anti-elite sentiment and a class-based ideology. She considers that the rise of populism is due to the difficulty of dismantling the bureaucratic and professional structures that keep the “ultra-rich” protected. Dr. Marshall explains that, by putting the burden on the poor to change their situation rather than slowing down the engine of accumulation, these structures recreate the conditions leading to populism.
Shana Marshall is Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Assistant Research Faculty member at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She earned her PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics of the Middle East at the University of Maryland in 2012. Her dissertation, “The New Politics of Patronage: The Arms Trade and Clientelism in the Arab World” (forthcoming, Columbia University Press) examines how Middle East governments use arms sales agreements to channel financial resources and economic privileges to domestic pro-regime elites.
Her work has appeared in The Middle East Report (MERIP), The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Policy, Jadaliyya, and the Carnegie Middle East Center.