Hans-Georg Betz

Hans-Georg Betz is an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Zurich. Before coming to Zurich, he taught at various universities in North America, including Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and York University in Toronto. He is the author of several books and numerous articles and book chapters on radical right-wing populism. He holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT.

Divide and Rule: What Drives Anti-Asian Resentment in America?

Feb 24, 2021

Donald Trump might have left the White House. His nefarious legacy, however, lingers on. A prominent case in point is the dramatic rise in the number of attacks on Asian Americans, ranging from verbal insults and harassment to physical assault to deadly acts of violence that has gone hand in...

What Happened to the Emerging Democratic Majority?

Feb 18, 2021

In November of last year, Donald Trump lost the presidential election with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate ever and the second-highest for a presidential candidate. Only Joe Biden did better. Trump also managed to garner the second-highest share of the non-white vote, 26%. Only George W....

Trumpism After Trump: The Wrong Person at the Right Time?

Feb 10, 2021

A few days before the Senate was due to vote on whether to proceed with the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on charges of inciting insurrection, an article in The Washington Post’s opinion pages boldly proclaimed that “Trumpism is American fascism.” Equating the Trump phenomenon with fascism...

When Auschwitz Loses Its Meaning

Feb 05, 2021

Andy Warhol is credited for the bon mot that in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. Robert Keith Packer would probably agree. A nobody from Virginia, Packer made international news for the sweatshirt he wore during the recent assault on the US Capitol. Sweatshirts bear all kinds...

Tech Exodus: Is Silicon Valley in Trouble?

Feb 02, 2021

On January 7, the news media announced that Elon Musk had surpassed Jeff Bezos as “the richest person on Earth.” I have a personal interest in the story. Two of my neighbors just bought a Tesla, and this morning, on the highway between Geneva and Lausanne, an angry Tesla driver...

Beware! Populism Might be Bad for Your Health

Jan 27, 2021

Dresden is one of Germany’s great cities, known worldwide for its meticulously rebuilt historic center, destroyed in one night at the end of World War II. Pre-Christmas shoppers have probably come across a Dresdner Christmas stollen, a bread full of nuts and candied fruit, coated in powdered sugar. Music lovers...

Angela Merkel: A Retrospective

Jan 21, 2021

Americans like to rate their presidents. In fact, presidential rankings have become something of a cottage industry in political science, ever since the eminent Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. started the tradition in the late 1940s. In Germany, we don’t do that, at least not in a formal way. We...

Why Is Joe Biden’s Presidency Anathema to So Many US Catholics?

Jan 19, 2021

When I was growing up in Germany in the 1960s, during the holiday seasons, both Christmas and Easter, one of the highlights on television was the reruns of “Don Camillo and Peppone.” These are movies that involve the adventures of a Catholic priest and a communist mayor, taking place in...

How COVID-19 Stole Christmas

Dec 23, 2020

Heinrich Heine is one of Germany’s most famous poets. He is best known for his poem, “Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen” (“Germany, a Winter’s Tale”) and for the first line of his poem “Nachtgedanken” (“Night Thoughts”), which has become what Germans call a “geflügeltes Wort,” a popular saying: “Denk ich an Deutschland...

Live Free or Die: America vs. Science

Dec 11, 2020

A few days ago, the testimony of a nurse from South Dakota made international headlines. In a tweet, Jodi Doering recounted the harrowing experience of having to deal with patients dying from COVID-19 complications while denying that the virus is real: “The ones who scream at you for a magic...

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