This volume brings together a range of scholars dissatisfied with the mainstream of the populism debate. It intends to bring forward a perspective which envisions populism not simply as a negative aspect of politics, but as a way of doing politics.
Contemporary politics has been characterised by the overarching presence of populism, while simultaneously engendering a sense of fear and extremism around the results of populist movements. This collection intends to unpack the true potential for movements from and by the people, linking these historically and offering a new lens for thinking about contemporary populism. What can we learn from recent events? How can these lessons inform how we think about politics for the future? Offering this approach, from the perspective of populist potential, will help us answer these questions and open the debate with contributors from countries or regions that have a tradition of populism, privileging them with a deeper understanding.
Emmy Eklundh and Andy Knott
Chapter 1: Populism: The Politics of a Definition
Chapter 2: Populism and Myth
María Esperanza Casullo
Chapter 3: Populism and the Politics of Control
Chapter 4: Ten Theses on Populism
Chapter 5: Why Populists aren’t Mad
Chapter 6: Populism, Democracy and the Transnational People: In Defence of Democratic Populism
Chapter 7: Left Populism as a Political Project
Chapter 8: A Manifesto and Populism?
Emmy Eklundh is a Lecturer in Politics at Cardiff University, UK.
Andy Knott is a Lecturer in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Brighton, UK.
Populism is often portrayed as the biggest challenge to liberal democracy of our era. Yet this volume challenges this assumption, arguing from a stridently critical and leftist perspective that populism has much to offer us in terms of thinking about key questions about ‘the people’, popular sovereignty and the future of democracy. An important, provocative and thought-provoking book.
We are, it seems, living in populist times. But what if instead of thinking in negative terms about what this implies for democracy, we were encouraged to think about the possibilities that populism represents for the renewal of politics? This bold and challenging collection of essays asks us to do precisely that. Drawing on a variety of case studies and contemporary examples of populism, a picture emerges that challenges the negative stereotypes associated with this brand of politics. This encourages us to think past tired clichés about how democratic politics functions and for whom. In challenging mainstream accounts of populism, this collection offers a stimulating counterpoint that will be essential reading for anyone interested in the direction of contemporary politics, and the potential contained within for the emergence of new, exciting and vibrant forms of democracy.