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Introduction: Populists in Power, a Global Perspective

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Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)

Abstract

Populism is on the rise, and so are academic studies on populism. The study of populism has long focused on the way its spokespersons have behaved as an oppositional force, in Western countries in particular. While discourses and practices of those populists exercising a protest function still merit attention, this volume trains the focus on populists in government. The real novelty of the past decade is that many populists are now (or have been) in power, in Europe as well as in other parts of the world, and this book intends to play a pioneering role from a geographical and analytical standpoint. Besides Europe and Latin America where populism has existed for long, populists are today—or have been recently—in office in the Middle East (Turkey, Israel), Asia (India, Thailand, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), and the United States. In most of the cases, their rule has resulted in forms of authoritarianism, giving birth to a new kind of regime that combines elections—that populists need for nurturing their legitimacy—and attacks against institutions in charge of checks and balances, including the judiciary. While most of the populist rulers have consolidated their power, democratic resilience has prevailed in some rare cases.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-84079-2_1
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Notes

  1. 1.

    Nadia Urbinati introduces a fruitful distinction between minimalist and maximalist theories of populism. She classifies among the first, interpretations of populism that analyze its ideological tropes, its style of politics and the political strategies devised to achieve power. The maximalist theories go beyond analytical purposes: they aim to develop a full-fledged theory of populism which sees how populism can invigorate democracy. Ernesto Laclau has been the pioneer of this maximalist understanding of populism (Laclau 2005). In this volume, we focus mostly on the former.

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Correspondence to Alain Dieckhoff .

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Dieckhoff, A., Jaffrelot, C., Massicard, É. (2022). Introduction: Populists in Power, a Global Perspective. In: Dieckhoff, A., Jaffrelot, C., Massicard, E. (eds) Contemporary Populists in Power. The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84079-2_1

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