The populism/anti-populism frontier and its mediation in crisis-ridden Greece: from discursive divide to emerging cleavage?
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Along with other South-European countries, since 2008, Greece has experienced deep economic and social dislocation, leading to a crisis of representation and triggering populist mobilisations and anti-populist reactions. This article focuses on the antagonistic language games developed around populist representations, something that has not attracted much attention in the relevant literature. Highlighting the need to study anti-populism together with populism, focusing on their mutual constitution from a discursive perspective, it articulates a brief yet comprehensive genealogy of populist and anti-populist actors (parties and media) in Greece, exploring their discursive strategies. Moving on, it identifies the main characteristics this antagonistic divide took on within the newly contested, crisis-ridden sociopolitical field, highlighting the implications for a contemporary understanding of cleavages, with potentially broader implications.
KeywordsPopulism Anti-populism Cleavage Greece Crisis Mediation SYRIZA
This article draws on the conclusions of the POPULISMUS research project (www.populismus.gr), which was undertaken at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2014–2015), with funding from the European Union (European Social Fund) and National Funds (Greece) within the framework of the Operational Programme ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ (Action ‘ARISTEIA II’). Giorgos Katsambekis wishes to thank the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (https://www.rc.auth.gr/) for its generous support through the ‘Excellence Scholarship’ for postdoctoral researchers (2016).
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