Institutt for sammenliknende politikk
Rokkanforelesningen 2022

Rokkan Memorial Lecture 2022: The Decline of the Left, The Rise of Populism, and the Fate of Democracy

The Department of Comparative Politics is proud to present Sheri Berman as the speaker on the 2022 Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture "The Political Consequences of Economic Ideas The Decline of the Left, The Rise of Populism, and the Fate of Democracy"

Banner with photo of Stein Rokkan


The decline of social democratic parties and the rise of right-wing populist ones has been among the most significant trends in Western democracies during the past decades.  This lecture will discuss the causes of and connections between these trends, focusing on the political consequences of ideas about the correct relationship between politics and markets that swept across the globe at the end of the 20th century.  Particularly consequential was how these ideas diluted the distinctive economic profile of social democratic parties as well as their approach to identity formation.  These shifts by social democratic parties created, for example, incentives for right-wing populist parties to shift their own economic profiles and appeals.  Cumulatively, changes in social democratic and right-wing populist parties reshaped the issues, social cleavages and political conflicts dominating Western democracies.

Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture
Both abroad and in Norway there has been a number of intiatives to honour the memory of Stein Rokkan for his great contributions in the development of the social sciences after World War II. The Department of Comparative Politics has, since 1981, arranged an annual Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture as a tribute to his memory.