Illiberalism, social policy, advocacy, President Trump


Liberal democracies had been ascendant in the post-World War II era. President Trump is part of a wave of nationalist, anti-immigrant politicians with autocratic tendencies who are challenging liberal democracy. The term given to the governing philosophy of these leaders is illiberalism. This paper is meant to be a primer on illiberalism for social workers, describing this ideology and the threat illiberalism poses for democracy, our social welfare system, and the interests of social work clients. We conclude with a discussion on what social workers can do to defend democracy in light of the historic mission to advance social justice.

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