Populism : a very short introduction

Mudde, Cas, author
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  • Creator Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
  • Format Books
  • Contributors
  • Publication New York, NY, United States of America : Oxford University Press, [2017] ©2017
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • 131 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
  • ISBNs 9780190234874, 0190234873, 9780190234881, 9780190234898, 9780190234904
  • OCLC ocn947145223


  • "Populism is a central concept in the current media debates about politics and elections. However, like most political buzzwords, the term often floats from one meaning to another, and both social scientists and journalists use it to denote diverse phenomena. What is populism really? Who are the populist leaders? And what is the relationship between populism and democracy? This book answers these questions in a simple and persuasive way, offering a swift guide to populism in theory and practice. Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovera Kaltwasser present populism as an ideology that divides society into two antagonistic camps, the "pure people" versus the "corrupt elite," and that privileges the general will of the people above all else. They illustrate the practical power of this ideology through a survey of representative populist movements of the modern era: European right-wing parties, left-wing presidents in Latin America, and the Tea Party movement in the United States. The authors delve into the ambivalent personalities of charismatic populist leaders such as Juan Domingo P©♭ron, H. Ross Perot, Jean-Marie le Pen, Silvio Berlusconi, and Hugo Chávez. If the strong male leader embodies the mainstream form of populism, many resolute women, such as Eva P©♭ron, Pauline Hanson, and Sarah Palin, have also succeeded in building a populist status, often by exploiting gendered notions of society. Although populism is ultimately part of democracy, populist movements constitute an increasing challenge to democratic politics. Comparing political trends across different countries, this compelling book debates what the long-term consequences of this challenge could be, as it turns the spotlight on the bewildering effect of populism on today's political and social life. "--
  • "Populism is central to current debates about politics, from radical right parties in Europe to left-wing presidents in Latin America to the Tea Party in the United States. But populism is also one of the most contested concepts in the social sciences. This book offers a timely and wide-ranging guide to understanding populism both in theory and practice, highlighting its relevance for the contemporary political debate"--


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-123) and index.


  • What is populism? -- Populism around the world -- Populism and mobilization -- The populist leader -- Populism and democracy -- Causes and responses
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