Populism Literature Review

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It appears to be that the spread of populist parties and populist rhetoric, and more remarkably the popular support that this kind of discourse is attracting, is at its 21st century’s zenith. This is especially the case in European states where populist ideas are being spread throughout their political spectrums, from being located in the far right to the far left. Populist parties such as “Front National”, “Podemos”, “Partij Voor de Vrijheid”, “Movimento 5 Stelle”, “die Linke” and “UKIP” among others, are now posing a big challenge to mainstream parties that have, until recently, pulled higher support from voters. This growing defiance to mainstream politics can already be seen by occurrences such as Brexit, the election of FN’s Marine Le…show more content…
This will be done with the aim of understanding what are the current frameworks used in academia to categorise the impact or effects that populism has on democracies and whether populism is indeed seen as a threat to democratic regimes. In order to do so, the review will analyse what the author’s conceptions of populism are, and whether they find connections between populist thought and democracy. This will be done with the aim of examining what are the effects of populism on democracy being discussed in academia, if any. By doing so, this review will establish the extent to which there is a consensus or an ongoing disagreement of academia, on the impact of populism in democracy. That is, the scholarly views on the aforementioned issue of “populism as a threat to democracy” will be shown. In addition, the appearance of gaps in the literature will be…show more content…
Although focusing on European populism unlike Müller who talks more about the American counterpart, Taggart also defends the idea that populism is detrimental to democracy. As Müller, he says that it is the dismissal of opposing views as illegitimate that that makes it anti-democratic. Taggart goes further to argue that populist do not put their concerns on representation but on betterment of governance of the nation thus, seeing democracy as unnecessary or secondary. He also mentions the populist creation of the “heartland”, a pure nation that was brought down by the establishment and their support of globalisation. Taggart sees that creates a discrimination of people that are equal under the same rights and that by regarding them as an “other” they are being anti-democratic as well. Still, it can be argued that although presenting populism as against liberal democratic ideals, he does not necessarily look at it as a threat to democracy. It appears as he perceives populism as self-undermining and thus, maybe even something that should not be taken as a serious problem. Furthermore, focusing on the European value of growing integration it can be argued that he looks at populism as something ephemeral and bounded to collapse. On the other hand, due to the increasing Euro-scepticism this argument could be seen as outdated and not applicable
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