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International Politics in the Age of Populism and Authoritarianism

The global rise of populism as well as the transregional diffusion of authoritarian practices do not only have an impact on domestic politics and institutions in individual states, but also on foreign policy and international politics. In this Research Focus, we examine the effects of the formation of populist governments on foreign policy change from a comparative perspective. We are also interested in the foreign policy of authoritarian states such as China. Moreover, we explore the longer-term consequences of populist and authoritarian foreign policy on international politics.

The questions to be addressed include: Does the centralization and personalization of foreign policy under populist governments contribute to increased unpredictability and more conflictive international politics? How does the politicization of foreign policy affect the willingness to cooperate, engage in multilateral organizations, and provide global public goods? What are the mechanisms of transregional diffusion and promotion of authoritarian practices and how do they contribute to international autocratization tendencies? The focus does not only lie on the contestation of existing (liberal) governance models, but on the emergence of complex authoritarian linkages beyond nation-states.  


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