Populism: Ideology, Political Style, Mentality? Cover Image
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Populism: Ideology, Political Style, Mentality?
Populism: Ideology, Political Style, Mentality?

Author(s): Marco Tarchi
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: populism; ideology; political theory; democracy

Summary/Abstract: The difficulties of defining the essence of populism and of circumscribing the range of application of this concept have determined a long-lasting controversy in the academic field. Among the main subjects under discussion, one question has arisen most frequently: can populism be considered as an ideology (a ‘thin’ ideology, in Freeden’s sense) or must it be reduced to a political style which can be attached to any ideological background? Referring to the notion elaborated by Juan Linz in order to distinguish authoritarianism from totalitarianism, and on the basis of the empirical evidence, we suggest that populism must be seen neither as an ideology nor only as a style, but as a mentality, connected to a vision of the social order that is based on a belief in the innate virtues of the people, whose primacy is claimed as the source of legitimacy for the government.

  • Issue Year: XXIII/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 95-109
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English