This chapter discusses differences and similarities between democracy and populism with regards to their definitions, main goals, types of actors, structures, and main…
This chapter discusses differences and similarities between democracy and populism with regards to their definitions, main goals, types of actors, structures, and main constituencies. Special focus is devoted to the functions democracy and populism play in the politics of sovereign countries. As the chapter argues, democracy calls for the implementation of political freedoms, rights, and political inclusiveness. In contrast, the spontaneous actions of populism appeal to popular agendas and often use disfranchised populations to achieve political goals.
This chapter argues that despite the proverbial claim that populism is ill-defined and has too broad a conceptual net, the literature on the subject tends to converge…
This chapter argues that despite the proverbial claim that populism is ill-defined and has too broad a conceptual net, the literature on the subject tends to converge toward four core elements of populism that provides a conceptual and analytical unity. Furthermore, the conceptual core of populism explains why the concept has been able to encompass a wide range of populist manifestations without becoming an empty analytical shell. Also, the conceptual cores have helped provide the empirical basis that has given rise to a diverse and innovative literature that seeks to measure and compare cross-nationally populism.
This chapter explores how scholars have conceptualized the relationship between Latin American populism and democracy. It analyzes different approaches to populism such as modernization and dependency theory, and current approaches that focus on discourse analysis and/or political strategies. The chapter focuses on the current wave of radical populism to explore the continuities and differences between “classical” populism of leaders such as Juan Perón, the “neopopulism” of Alberto Fujimori, and the radical populism of Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa.
Critiques of elites define populism, which conceives of power relations as a unified, conspiring elite exploiting the good people. Yet, populism itself is inherently…
Critiques of elites define populism, which conceives of power relations as a unified, conspiring elite exploiting the good people. Yet, populism itself is inherently elitist, calling for a strong leader to take power and channel the will of the people. Elite theory, surprisingly overlooked in scholarship on populism, can clarify this apparent paradox and elucidate the dimensions of populism and its risk of authoritarianism in new ways. In contrast to populist ideological conceptions of power relations in society, elite theory points to the possibility that several elites with diverging voices and interests exist. Furthermore, elite theorists argue that such elite pluralism is a necessary component of a well-functioning democracy. Much scholarship on populism, often aiming to understand its causes and focussing on Western Europe and North America, points to the similarities of populist movements. The focus on similarities strengthens the understanding of populism as a uniform phenomenon and populist elite critiques as homogeneous. However, broader comparative studies show that different populist movements target a range of various elite groups. Indeed, the empirical reality of populist elite critiques targeting diverse elite groups is more in line with elite theory than populist ideological conceptions of power relations in society. A key to grasping the democratic challenges posed by the power relations between elites and masses in both populist critiques and populist solutions is an understanding of the institutional conditions for elite integration versus elite pluralism. This central discussion in both classical and modern elite theory is applied to analyse populism in this contribution.
This paper aims to contend that populism is damaging to both domestic and international politics; not only does it erode liberal democracy in established democracies but…
This paper aims to contend that populism is damaging to both domestic and international politics; not only does it erode liberal democracy in established democracies but also fuels authoritarianism in despotic regimes and aggravates conflicts and crises in international system.
The research is divided into two main sections. First, it examines how populist mobilization affects liberal democracy, and refutes the claims that populism is beneficial and reinforcing to democracy. Second, it attempts to demonstrate how populism is damaging to domestic politics (by undermining liberal democracy and supporting authoritarianism) as well as international relations (by making interstate conflicts more likely to materialize). Theoretically, populism is assumed to be a strategy used by politicians to maximize their interest. Hence, populism is a strategy used by politicians to mobilize constituents using the main features of populist discourse.
The research argues that populism has detrimental consequences on both domestic and international politics; it undermines liberal democracy in democratic countries, upsurges authoritarianism in autocratic regimes and heightens the level of conflict and crises in international politics. Populism can lead to authoritarianism. There is one major undemocratic trait shared by all populist waves around the world, particularly democracies; that is anti-pluralism/anti-institutions. Populist leaders perceive foreign policy as the continuation of domestic politics, because they consider themselves as the only true representatives of the people. Therefore, populist actors abandon any political opposition as necessarily illegitimate, with repercussions on foreign policy.
Some scholars argue that populism reinforces democracy by underpinning its ability to include marginalized sectors of the society and to decrease voter apathy, the research refuted these arguments. Populism is destructive to world democracy; populists are reluctant to embrace the idea of full integration with other nations. Populists reject the idea of open borders, and reckon it an apparent threat to their national security. The research concludes that populists consider maximizing their national interests on the international level by following confrontational policies instead of cooperative ones.
In this chapter, I examine the populism of the Northern League and Berlusconi. I attempt to provide an institutional explanation as to why Italy, more so than other…
In this chapter, I examine the populism of the Northern League and Berlusconi. I attempt to provide an institutional explanation as to why Italy, more so than other Western European democracies, has experienced such diverse forms of populism. Stated in full, the thesis advanced is that the rise and persistence populism in Western European democracies, such as Italy, is an indication of an institutional crisis of representation.
The rebirth of populist agenda echoes at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century is the birth of populist unrest in democratic and in authoritarian regimes alike – in Europe, the Middle East, America, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Regardless of many faces and appeals to diverse constituencies, as well as clearly established trends, a current escalation in the rapid and widespread development of populist insurgency is an outcome of two factors. One is the weakness of representative politics and the party system in many states across the globe. The other is the global economic recession or crisis that has led to an increase in economic disparity between social classes and impoverishment of the poorer and middle social strata combined with the establishment of global economic, multinational giants.