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Introduction to Populism

1 Introduction to Populism The rise of populism is one of the defining features of our age Populism can be labeled as either authoritarian or democratic movements It is often critical of political representation and anything that negotiates the relation between the government and the people Populists seek to defend the interest and expand the power of ordinary people through reform rather than revolution Murno 2015 Populism is defined as a thin centered ideology that focuses on the opposition between the elites and people against the backdrop of popular sovereignty Firstly populism is malleable in the real world it seldom exists in pure form but rather in a combination with other concepts or ideology Secondly its rise growth and failure both the demand and supply side of populist politics must be taken into consideration Economic crises and growing political distrust could be the conditions for the rise of populism Lastly the diffusion of populism in what way or under what circumstances can populism spread from one society to another On the demand side it is known as a demonstration effect where people in one country are familiar of political developments in neighboring countries while on the other hand following the supply side influence of the populist ideology gains a presence in political parties and or social movements Freeden Stears 2013 Populism is neither right nor left but populists can be either left or right or even centrist Right wing populism favors small groups and inequality This can also take the form of protectionism nativism nationalism and xenophobia which may appear to be activist social conservatism or even fascism

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