Topic: The material preconditions for the rise of populist movements: the case of Norway
In the wake of rising populism channelled mostly through right wing nationalism in much of the European continent, Norway has been different in that its strongest populist expressions have been centre left. Also more strongly than in most European countries, this expression of populism has had an almost exclusively rural dimension, where grievances are directed from the peripheries of the country towards the centre. This is not a new situation in Norway; the country has a long tradition of left- wing or centrist rural popular dissent towards the centre. This has strongly influenced conceptions of the rural and the national, as well as ideas of what Norwegian modernity and authenticity is. This paper will take a historical materialist approach, focusing on property regimes and class relation, to first do a brief analysis of the peculiar Norwegian tradition of left-wing/centre rural dissent. Then, the paper will discuss this analysis in the context of the current rise of populism in Europa and the US. What can this analysis tell us about the nature of populist movements and the material preconditions for their emergence?