The contributions to this volume Politics, Social Movements and Extremism take serious the fact that populism is a symptom of the crisis of representation that is affecting parliamentary democracy. Right-wing populism skyrocketed to electoral success and is now part of the government in several European countries, but it also shaped the Brexit campaign and the US presidential election. In Southern Europe, left-wing populism transformed the classical two parties systems into ungovernable three fractions parliaments, whereas in Latin America it still presents an instable alternative to liberal democracy.
The varying consequences of populist mobilisation so far consist in the maceration of the established borders of political culture, the distortion of legislation concerning migrants and migration, and the emergence of hybrid regimes bordering on and sometimes leaning towards dictatorship. Yet, in order to understand populism, innovative research approaches are required that need to be capable of overcoming stereotypes and conceptual dichotomies which are deeply rooted in the political debate.
The chapters of this volume offer such new theoretical strategies for inquiring
into the multi-faceted populist phenomenon. The chapters analyse its language,
concepts and its relationship to social media in an innovative way, draw the con -
tours of left- and right-wing populism and reconstruct its shifting delimitation to
political extremism. Furthermore, they value the most significant aftermath of
populist mobilisation on the institutional frame of parliamentary democracy from
the limitation of the freedom of press, to the dismantling of the separation of
powers, to the erosion of citizenship rights. This volume will be an invaluable
reference for students and scholars in the field of political theory, political
sociology and European Studies.
Introduction: Political Populism as A Symptom of the Great Transformation of Democracy Part I: Language, Media and the Law 1. The Micro-Politics of Right-Wing Populism 2. Populism 2.0, Social Media and the False Allure of ‘Unmediated’ Representation 3. From Protecting Individual Rights to Protecting the Public: The Changing Parameters of Populist-Driven Criminal Law and Penal Policy Part II: Dimensions of Right-Wing Populism 4. Right-Wing Populism in Context: A Historical and Systematic Perspective 5. Populism and the Radical Right in Europe: The Paradigmatic Case of the French Front National 6. Ambivalences of Cosmopolitanisms, Elites and Far-Right Populisms in Twenty-First Century Europe Part III: Regimes, Party Systems, and Political Subjects 7. The Role of Populist Parties and Movements in Transitions to Hybrid Regimes in Europe 8. Populism as a Challenge for Party Systems: A Comparison Between Italy and Spain 9. ‘Citizens’ or ‘People’? Competing Meanings of the Political Subject in Latin America
"In times of crises, representative democracies are challenged, and with them the established conceptions of the people. As in the past, a Great Recession triggers the development of right-wing populism, with the spreading of xenophobic ideologies that, when successful in the electoral arena, bring about hybrid regimes, limiting pluralism and freedom. To which extent, progressive forces can resist the threats of a Great Regression, spreading inclusive definition of the people and participatory forms of democracy is an open question that this collection of essays helps addressing through new ideas and original data."
Donatella della Porta, Professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy
"It is vital that progressive academics engage with the rise of populism in Western liberal-democracies, in research and teaching. Freedom to think and research, and therefore education itself, is threatened by populism. Wide-ranging in scope and full of interesting case studies, this collection is a great addition to crucial debates over populism today."
Kate Nash, Professor, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London, UK
"This is an important and timely book, which offers a rich collection of well-written case studies and theoretical essays on one of the most important subjects of this era. As such, it is also one of the best available introductions to this subject."
Koen Vossen, Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Radbout University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
"The book goes beyond questions of definition and normative judgments to analyze the impact of populist politics on party systems, language, media, the law and political subjectivities. In doing so, the authors make a genuine contribution to the understanding of one of the most relevant political topics of our time."<