MERITOCRACY AND POPULISM IS THERE A CONNECTION? - Erzsébet Bukodi and John H. Goldthorpe
23 February 2021
The books of Markovits, a lawyer and economist (2019), of Sandel, a political and social philosopher (2020), and of Goodhart, a senior think-tank figure (2020) share in the view that a connection exists between the pursuit of meritocracy and the rise of populism. [...] Individuals who are so demeaned, they maintain, become open to the appeals of populist movements and parties, characterised by a hostility to the elites that an envisaged, but in fact still largely sham, meritocracy throws up, to the views these elites express, and to the institutions they dominate.3 3 Young’s fantasy ends with the overthrow of the meritocracy as the result of an alliance between. [...] For the status deprived, the appeals of populism are then rather obvious, and especially as compared with what Goodhart (2020: 149) calls the ‘double liberalism’ – both economic and social – as espoused by New Labour in the UK and the New Democrats in the US in their search for greater electoral support from among meritocratic winners. [...] Nonetheless, it is difficult to ignore the degree of consistency that exists between the views prevailing in the groups – in Mattinson’s interpretation – and the argument 8 Although apparently not mentioned in the focus groups, the ‘rejection of Islington’ was classically illustrated in the angry response to the posting by Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, of a photograph of a. [...] For example, the need is urged to reduce the degree of elitism in higher education that is based merely on social advantage, to promote closer links and a greater parity of esteem between academic and vocational education, and, above all, to change the organisation of work and managerial practices so as to increase the number of jobs that offer security, autonomy, and the possibility of enhancing.