Populism is booming across all the nuances of the political spectrum. It occupies relevant positions in national parliaments, in governmental coalitions with mainstream parties or as successful challengers of the political status quo. This volume sheds new light on the topic from different methodological and theoretical angles and offers evidence from a variety of cases on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions on populism’s emergence and consolidation in Europe over the past 30 years.
The volume, composed of eight chapters, investigates how different populist parties in the European Union have been affected by the various crises, disentangling the role of the Great Recession vis-à-vis other factors (such as political and party system factors, but also structural social changes or cultural opportunities) in the growing strength of populist parties in various European countries. More specifically, the volume aims are to:
- promote critical discussion on the concept of populism, reflecting on its conceptual ‘usability’ beyond the traditional party families to which it is usually related;
- use a preliminary theoretical clarification to shed new light on the different ways in which populism has been articulated in the various European countries (either in Continental and Southern Europe, or in the lesser known and studied East-Central countries) since the economic crisis, which has acted as an external shock for many party systems, either giving birth to new political actors or consolidating existing ones;
- investigate the connections between populism and the national contextual political and cultural specificities that can determine the development of different types of populisms across countries, elaborating on different ‘configurations’ of triggering conditions for populism and reflecting on the limitations of a discrete conceptualisation of the phenomenon.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of West European Politics.
Introduction: Understanding varieties of populism in times of crises
Manuela Caiani and Paolo Graziano
1. National past and populism: the re-elaboration of fascism and its impact on right-wing populism in Western Europe
Daniele Caramani and Luca Manucci
2. Populism in election times: a comparative analysis of 11 countries in Western Europe
Laurent Bernhard and Hanspeter Kriesi
3. Shooting the fox? UKIP’s populism in the post-Brexit era
4. How to stay populist? The Front National and the changing French party system
5. Beyond left and right: the eclectic populism of the Five Star Movement
Lorenzo Mosca and Filippo Tronconi
6. Economic crisis and the variety of populist response: evidence from Greece, Portugal and Spain
Marco Lisi, Iván Llamazares and Myrto Tsakatika
7. Assessing the diversity of anti-establishment and populist politics in Central and Eastern Europe
Sarah Engler, Bartek Pytlas and Kevin Deegan-Krause