By Andrew Fagan
This post addresses what may be identified as some of the more significant implications for human rights contained within two recent Ipsos global surveys. The first survey, conducted in 2018, studied attitudes towards human rights amongst over 23,000 adults in 28 countries. The second survey, conducted in 2019, sought to measure support for populism and nativism amongst over 18,000 adults across 27 countries. Taken together, these two surveys graphically illustrate some of the core challenges facing the human rights project today.
These are deeply troubling, anxiety-inducing times. The greatest cause for concern for many is the ongoing full-frontal attack upon the liberal rights-based paradigm, which, in so-called Western societies, has provided the institutional and conceptual scaffolding for the modern human rights movement. Right-wing “populism” has emerged as the single greatest political threat to liberal democracy and, it seems, human rights. Punctuated by the election of Trump, the manner in which the Leave campaign conducted itself during the UK’s EU referendum and a subsequent series of other right-wing populist electoral and political gains, a politics fuelled essentially by hate and fear seeks to lay claim to truly representing the majority sovereign will of the (no longer) silent majority. Continue reading