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'There is no better guide to the populist passions of the present' The New York TimesDonaldTrump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chavez - populistsareon the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Shouldeveryone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called apopulist?What precisely is the difference between right-wing andleft-wingpopulism? Does populism bring government closer to the peopleor is it athreat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and whocan speak intheir name? These questions have never been more pressing.Inthis provocative book, Jan-Werner Muller argues that at populism'scoreis a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that theyandthey alone represent the people and their true interests. Contrarytoconventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of theirclaim toexclusive moral representation of the people: if populistshave enoughpower, they will end up creating an authoritarian statethat excludesall those not considered part of the proper "people".Proposing a numberof concrete strategies for how liberal democratsshould best deal withpopulists, Muller shows how to counter theirclaims to speak exclusivelyfor "the silent majority".
But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism?
Populist movements, however, even when strong, can be checked by social convention and threats of ostracism. Few call themselves populist.
Little is known about how they conceptualize this process since their statements refer to a direct ...
Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time. Jan-Werner Müller is Professor of Politics at Princeton University.
For some, populism is part and parcel of the far right and nationalism—issues that, though not completely divorced from contemporary populist rhetoric, do little to help explain it.