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Technology and Social Choices in the Era of Social Transformations

Edited By Borut Rončević and Matej Makarovič

From the dawn of humanity, the dialectic relationship between technology and society has been one of the driving forces behind changes in both realms. Trends in technological developments and their applications are, ultimately, the result of individual and collective choices. At the same time, technology influences the social choices of individuals, small groups and entire societies. This book focuses on two closely related ideas: technological development and social choices. While relating them, the book shows the relationship between human individuals and their agency; social structures, both as the initial context and as resulting from human agency; and technology that has been developed and applied by human agents’ choices within social contexts.

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Roots and Manifestations of Populism in Contemporary Democracies (Frane Adam, Matevž Tomšič)

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Frane Adam, Matevž Tomšič

Abstract: This chapter deals with the recent outbursts of populism in contemporary democracies. It determines the relationship between populism and the personalization of politics and discerns commonalities and differences between different types of populism. The thesis is that populism is a reaction to the crisis of democracy as well as to the anomalies and unintended consequences of globalization. We show that populist leaders are accentuating the loss of national sovereignty, the dominance of supranational institutions (including the EU), as well as the penetration of big capital and multinational corporations. However, despite some common ideological and cultural values, there is variety in its manifestations throughout Europe and beyond.

Keywords: populism, globalization, neoliberalism, nationalism, democracy, European Union, person-based politics

Populism in politics is currently a burning topic. However, it is not just about style and rhetoric, emphasizing a community based on national identity and opposing supranational institutions, nor is it some kind of a deviation from ‘true’ democracy. Whichever opinion we hold about this phenomenon – represented by leaders such as Trump in the USA, the events related to Great Britain’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit), Orban in Hungary and Kaczynski in Poland, or outside of the EU like Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey or Chavez in Latin America1 – we to recognize and admit that now, more than ever, the limits of globalization in the sense of free trade (i.e., the free movement of people, goods and capital), as well...

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