What Is Populism?

What Is Populism?

eBook - 2016
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Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Ch?vez?populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing. In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner M?ller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. M?ller also shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of their claim to exclusive moral representation of the people: if populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper "people." The book proposes a number of concrete strategies for how liberal democrats should best deal with populists and, in particular, how to counter their claims to speak exclusively for "the silent majority" or "the real people." Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time.
Publisher: [S.I.] : University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc., 2016.
ISBN: 9780812293784
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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NFreaderNWPL May 29, 2017

Of the recent books on this topic, this one does the best job boiling populism down to its essence in an easily digestible format. According to Mueller, populism amounts to speaking as if there is one unified people who can be represented by the populist leader, and this leader alone. The opposite of populism is pluralism: political representation, democratic debate, and more generally a rejection of the idea that is there is only one correct way to see public affairs. Using this definition, the author makes some striking observations. For example, technocracy - government by experts - also tends to encourage the view that there is a single correct answer to political questions, and so ironically may be partly to blame for the current backlash.

Mar 23, 2017

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