The rise of authoritarian populist forces in recent years has generated new challenges in many affluent societies and long-established democracies, such as the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, and France, as well as destabilizing states worldwide, such as in Venezuela, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, the Philippines, Thailand, and India. What explains the rise of these forces? What are the consequences? And what can be done to mitigate the risks? This course analyzes these issues from a comparative perspective, to understand America in a broader context. The course covers: (i) the core concepts and meanings of populism and the classification of authoritarian and libertarian forms of populist parties and leaders; (ii) explanations focused on cultural value change, economic grievances, patterns of immigration, electoral rules, and party competition; (iii) the impact on the civic culture and the policy agenda; and (iv) alternative strategic policy responses. The course is assessed through one group exercise and two papers.