A Prince and a Shoe: Where is the Princess? The “Cinderella complex” in Political Science, Fifty Years Later Cover Image
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Un prince et une chaussure : où est-elle la princesse ? Le « complexe de Cendrillon » dans la science politique cinquante ans après
A Prince and a Shoe: Where is the Princess? The “Cinderella complex” in Political Science, Fifty Years Later

Author(s): Marco Tarchi
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Politics, Political Sciences
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: populism; people; democracy; ideology;mentality;

Summary/Abstract: Fifty years later, the concept of populism is still plagued by the disorderthat Isaiah Berlin labelled as the “Cinderella complex”, meaning there isa shoe, the shape of populism, but no foot to fit it or almost none. In orderto go beyond this ironic situation, the analysis claims it is necessary to avoid seeing populism as a form of ideology characterized by a certaindegree of internal coherence. Similarly, it considers it is necessary toavoid reducing populism to a simple rhetorical and demagogic style every political actor can use according to his/her needs. If we adopt a comparative perspective, take into account the populism’s most recentmanifestations and search for their lowest common denominator, we canidentify the elements of a psychological predisposition that, in line with Theodor Geiger and Juan Linz, can be considered the basis of a characteristic mentality. Within this context, this article aims to identify the specific elements belonging to this mentality and to include them in adefinition able to cover the multiplicity of meanings given to the word“people”. Finally yet importantly, this definition aims to shed light on the nature of the relationship between populism and democracy.

  • Issue Year: 17/2017
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 491-516
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: French