Matthew Rhodes-Purdy

Fulbright-University of Manchester Distinguished Scholar Award (Humanities)

Matthew Rhodes-Purdy is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Clemson University. His research combines democratic theory with political behavior to study challenges to contemporary democracies, especially populism and extremism. He focuses on the role strong citizen voice can play in enhancing legitimacy and minimizing antidemocratic, authoritarian, and extremist politics. His most recent book, The Age of Discontent, analyzes how negative emotions generated by economic trauma led to the rise of populism and the Far Right in contemporary democracies.  

His Fulbright project will move from explaining the rise of “nasty politics” to how these trends might be countered. He will investigate how the public can be incorporated through political parties practicing continuous democracy internally. His Fulbright research will focus on the Manchester Labour Party as an example of an organization that has been relatively successful in maintaining and deepening its social roots.