SPIA professor among world’s top 50 thinkers

Cas Mudde, Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF Professor of International Affairs in the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, has been named to Prospect Magazine’s 2019 list of “World’s Top 50 Thinkers.” Those selected are considered leaders in their fields who engage in original and profound ways of thinking with the central questions of the modern world.

Mudde has been recognized for his extensive work on populist politics and the far right. He defined modern populism in 2004 and has since laid the groundwork for research and reporting in the area. His research interests extend to civil society, conceptualization, democracy and democratization, Euroskepticism, political parties, political ideologies, and social movements.

“Cas Mudde has not only provided an authoritative definition of populism, he has advanced our thinking about the ascendancy of populism — and of extreme partisanship — and their effects on the body politic,” said Matthew R. Auer, dean of SPIA. “We’re delighted that Cas is being recognized for his timely and impactful scholarship and commentary.”

Mudde was one of two political scientists to make the top 50. He is among academics from Princeton and Columbia University who were also named to Prospect magazine’s list.

“Cas Mudde is widely recognized as the world leader on research concerning populism and the rise of radical right parties in the United States and Europe. Without a doubt, his research is the most cited and transformative work in this area,” said Amanda Murdie, head of the department of international affairs. “His identification as a top 50 world thinker is an incredible honor for his work and a great reflection of the tremendous scholarship being produced right now in the department of international affairs.”

Mudde also holds the title Professor II in the Center for Research on Extremism  at the University of Oslo. Born in the Netherlands, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Leiden University before moving to the United States in 2008. He has held tenure-track positions at Central European University, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Antwerp.

“I see my nomination first and foremost as a reflection of the importance of the topics I study … but also as evidence that scholars can, and I think should, contribute to the public debate,” Mudde said.

Mudde’s nomination adds to the several honors and accolades he’s received, including the 2019 Leonard Shapiro Memorial Prize Lecture by Government and Opposition and the 2017-18 Belgian Professor Chair by Francqui Foundation.

Prospect magazine is a British publication that covers current events in politics, policymaking and business. The publication has compiled the “World’s Top 50 Thinkers” list annually since 2004. Readers have the opportunity to vote on their favorites from the list which will determine the final rankings.