Ph.D. Candidate Fernando Calderón-Figueroa, in collaboration with Professor Daniel Silver and Professor Zack Taylor on, “Populism in the City: the Case of Ford Nation”.

Ph.D. Candidate Fernando Calderón-Figueroa, in collaboration with Professor Daniel Silver and Professor Zack Taylor, published an article entitled, “Populism in the City: the Case of Ford Nation”, in International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. The article analyzes Rob Ford’s 2010 campaign and mayoralty in Toronto, and how it reveals the potential for the emergence of populist politics within the metropolis.

Fernando Calderón-Figueroa’s research focuses on urban sociology, political sociology, and social theory. Professor Daniel Silver is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.  His research areas are social theory, cities, culture, and cultural policy. Professor Zack Taylor previously worked within the Department of Human Geography at the University of Toronto and currently works at the University of Western ODan Silverntario in the Department of Political Science. His research areas are urban political economy and Canadian and comparative politics and policymaking, with an empirical focus on historical and contemporary multi-level governance of cities.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available here.

Silver, Daniel, Zack Taylor, and Fernando Calder´on-Figueroa. 2019. “Populism in the City: The Case of Ford Nation.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 31(1):1-21.

Populism is often viewed as a national-level phenomenon that pits a declining periphery against a cosmopolitan, economically successful metropolis. Our analysis of Rob Ford’s 2010 campaign and mayoralty in Toronto reveals the potential for the emergence of populist politics within the metropolis. To comprehend his appeal, principally within the city’s ethnically diverse postwar peripheral areas, we apply Brubaker’s conceptualization of populism as a discursive repertoire. Drawing on qualitative information and analysis of survey research, we first describe how Ford constructed electorally salient protagonists and antagonists. Second, we discuss how his emergence was enabled by institutional, economic, and demographic change. Finally, we explain Ford’s appeal to a diverse electorate in terms of the sincerity and coherence of his performance as the collective representation of suburban grievance. We conclude by arguing that populism may emerge in metropolitan settings with strong, spatially manifest internal social, economic, and cultural divisions.