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The Populist Zeitgeist

The Populist Zeitgeist Abstract Since the 1980s the rise of so-called ‘populist parties’ has given rise to thousands of books, articles, columns and editorials. This article aims to make a threefold contribution to the current debate on populism in liberal democracies. First, a clear and new definition of populism is presented. Second, the normal-pathology thesis is rejected; instead it is argued that today populist discourse has become mainstream in the politics of western democracies. Indeed, one can even speak of a populist Zeitgeist. Third, it is argued that the explanations of and reactions to the current populist Zeitgeist are seriously flawed and might actually strengthen rather than weaken it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Government and Opposition Cambridge University Press

The Populist Zeitgeist

Government and Opposition , Volume 39 (4): 23 – Nov 1, 3

The Populist Zeitgeist

Government and Opposition , Volume 39 (4): 23 – Nov 1, 3

Abstract

Abstract Since the 1980s the rise of so-called ‘populist parties’ has given rise to thousands of books, articles, columns and editorials. This article aims to make a threefold contribution to the current debate on populism in liberal democracies. First, a clear and new definition of populism is presented. Second, the normal-pathology thesis is rejected; instead it is argued that today populist discourse has become mainstream in the politics of western democracies. Indeed, one can even speak of a populist Zeitgeist. Third, it is argued that the explanations of and reactions to the current populist Zeitgeist are seriously flawed and might actually strengthen rather than weaken it.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Government and Opposition Ltd 2004
ISSN
1477-7053
eISSN
0017-257X
DOI
10.1111/j.1477-7053.2004.00135.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Since the 1980s the rise of so-called ‘populist parties’ has given rise to thousands of books, articles, columns and editorials. This article aims to make a threefold contribution to the current debate on populism in liberal democracies. First, a clear and new definition of populism is presented. Second, the normal-pathology thesis is rejected; instead it is argued that today populist discourse has become mainstream in the politics of western democracies. Indeed, one can even speak of a populist Zeitgeist. Third, it is argued that the explanations of and reactions to the current populist Zeitgeist are seriously flawed and might actually strengthen rather than weaken it.

Journal

Government and OppositionCambridge University Press

Published: Nov 1, 3

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