The Little Black Book of the Populist Right



What it is, why it’s on the march and how to stop it.

Available for pre-order. Coming June 2024

The spectre of the Populist Right haunts our politics: Farage and Trump, Orban and Le Pen. Why and how has this reactionary movement managed to redraw the political map, from Warsaw via Workington to Wisconsin?

At last, in one short book, an authoritative, accessible history and analysis of the Populist Right. How its ideology of national-populism rewrote the right’s playbook, throwing up charismatic, often racist leaders, who appealed to new coalitions of abandoned voters. How descendants of the interwar far right sanitised their parties, new anti-immigration movements emerged in Europe, and the Populist Right invaded existing mainstream parties in Britain and America.

And how and why national-populism created a new, conspiratorial narrative as a weapon in a virulent new culture war.

Jon Bloomfield and David Edgar have been studying the growth of the populist right for most of this century. Their book exposes the fallacies, flaws and fantasies of national populism, and ends by showing how progressives can fight back.


“Liberal democracies face perhaps the most dangerous challenge since the fall of the Iron Curtain.  Bloomfield and Edgar’s discussion of the ideological underpinnings of national populism – and the threat that  it poses – combines both clear and concise analysis with a compelling case for action.”

-Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London, author and Byline Times contributor.

 “This brilliant book tells us concisely and sharply why we should fear the rise of national populists and what we do to halt the politics they peddle”

 -Neal Lawson, Director of Compass 

 “There is no longer a guard rail between democratic politics and populism. A nationalist poison has entered the blood-stream of parliaments across the West. But it’s no time for panic and despair. Here’s a vital book from seasoned political writers to show how to push it back into the dark zone it came from, with a hope for democratic renewal. Read it to revive optimism that it can and must be overcome.”

Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist

“Everyone needs a little black book! This is a brilliant analysis of the most serious challenge to liberal democracy – the global rise of right wing populism. Two great political commentators examine its root causes and its well travelled trajectories at home and abroad: attacks on the rule of law, a contempt for international institutions, the sowing of social divisions and the scapegoating of the ‘other’. How can we stem the tide? This is vital reading.”

-Helena Kennedy KC

About the authors

-Jon Bloomfield

Jon Bloomfield has more than forty years experience as a policy maker and practitioner engaged with cities and regions in the UK and Europe on the three great issues of our era: social inequality; migration and climate change. From 1995 -2005 he was head of Birmingham City Council’s European and International Unit and from 2009-2021 was a senior adviser on the EU’s largest climate change programme, Climate KIC

Since 2005 he has been an Honorary research fellow in the School of Public Policy at Birmingham University where he pursues a range of policy interests on European governance; the environment; migration; the role of cities; and national populism. His articles weighing into debates on these topics can be found in The Independent, Prospect, Political Quarterly, Social Europe, Byline Times and Open Democracy as well as Compass. During the 1980s Jon was on the board of Marxism Today and covered the 1989 Velvet Revolution for ‘The Guardian.’ His book, ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham’ was published by Unbound in 2019.




-David Edgar

David Edgar is a playwright, journalist and commentator. His political plays include Destiny (about the rise of the National Front in the 1970s), Maydays (about the role of political defectors in Thatcherism), and four plays about the politics of Eastern Europe after the cold war, including The Shape of the Table (National Theatre), and Pentecost, The Prisoner’s Dilemma and, in 2024, The New Real (all for the RSC).

As a commentator, Edgar has written articles about British fascism, the legacy of the Thatcherism, Eastern Europe and now the rise of the national-populism, for journals including Searchlight, Marxism Today, Soundings, the Independent, the Times, the Guardian and the London Review of Books.  He was President of the Writers’ Guild o