Moreover, the further framing of these grievances will be conditioned by a government’s initial response to them. Trump, of course, did not become president as the candidate of a grassroots protest movement of an angry white working class; rather, he represented a very established party and needed the blessing of Republican heavyweights such as Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and New Gingrich. Why populism is on the rise. Thank you for collaborating with the OpenMind community! It was the latter who told a CNN reporter in summer 2016, during the Republican convention, that he did not trust statistics on crime, but believed in what people feel. The rise of 'pandemic populism' ... Nazi conspiracy-fueled ideology. and find homework help for other Populism… Technocrats hold that there’s only one correct policy solution; populists claim that there is only one authentic will of the people (and only they represent it); whoever disagrees with them, reveals themselves as traitor to the people. Many conservative politicians explicitly came out against Hofer; this was especially true for local mayors and other provincial heavyweights who had credibility with rural Austrians in ways Green bobo leaders dropping in from Vienna clearly could not have mustered. The rise of populism is not new. In other words, it wasn’t just anybody who told the people that expertise was overrated – it took an expert to do so. The rise of populism in the European Union’s member countries is important for many reasons. But citizens’ self-perceptions can also change again. Politics and culture mediate the effect of any But populist propaganda is hard to resist. No matter – in this case the government could simply pretend that those who had stayed away from the vote were actually a silent majority in favor of “No;” hence, nothing would prevent Orbán from asserting that, at last, the people themselves had been allowed to speak on the question of European refugee policies – and that they did not like the proposals by the “liberal nihilists” in Brussels (Orbán) one bit. Receive the OpenMind newsletter with all the latest contents published on our website, Tokyo University of Science, Tokio, Japan. It might have seemed from what has been said so far that populists all live in a kind of political fantasy world and hence are bound to fail in practice. The conventional wisdom also has weak conceptual foundations. Populists in power tend to be harsh (to say the least) with non-governmental organizations that criticize them. Populism is dangerous and has shown overtime an irresistible propensity for war. The notion of an unstoppable wave took it for granted that both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump were triumphs for populism. Their electoral success is a direct result of the growing populist movement around the globe. Such a perspective fails to see the distinction between populism as a claim to a moral monopoly on representing the real people and particular policy positions which have an affinity with right-wing populism – think of restrictions on immigration – but which are not populist as such. In particular, it conflates economic insecurity being important in explaining the overall populist vote and being The Rise of Populism is a short video series that tries to explain the different populist movements across the globe. So it’s not that everything that populists say is necessarily fictitious – but it is a mistake to think that only they know what is truly happening in society. They always exclude at two levels: at the level of party politics they present themselves as the only legitimate representatives of the people, and hence all others are at least morally excluded; and, less obviously, at the level of, if you like, the people themselves, those who do not share the populists’ symbolic construction of the “real people” (and, as a consequence, do not support the populists politically) are also shut out. For it appears that, in the end, we want to have an easy life, too. To be sure it is tempting to think that if populism is similar everywhere in involving a claim to a moral monopoly of representation, then the underlying causes must also be similar. After the war, they chose to stick to the rules of the democratic game even if what they took to be core conservative interests were not faring well. The end result is that political parties create a state to their own political liking, and in their own political image: a PiS state and a Fidesz state, if you will. Trump, for instance, undoubtedly succeeded in making some Americans see themselves as part of something like a white identity movement. All populists in one way or another engage in the kind of talk we heard from Trump about Hillary Clinton. The reasons for the emergence of a Haider are not the same as those for the success of a Le Pen, which in turn are not the same as the reasons for Trump’s completely unexpected triumph. In the last decade, however, populist-fueled authoritarianization has been on the rise, accounting for 40 percent of all democratic failures between 2000 and 2010 and matching coups in frequency. Hence it becomes crucial to argue (and supposedly “prove”) that civil society is not civil society at all, and that what can seem like popular opposition on the streets has nothing to do with the real people. And that is easier in some contexts than others (for instance, it is prima facie easier in France than in Germany, which is not to say that the latter is somehow more egalitarian). 1.1 Recent Trends in Populist Politics The rise of populism has been swift and synchronized across the world. The conventional wisdom also has weak conceptual foundations. Less obvious is that populists insinuate that all citizens who do not share their conception of “the people” and hence, logically, do not support the populists, should have their status as belonging to the proper people put into doubt. As many studies have shown, economic grievances can play an important role, but nowhere is populism reducible to something like “the socialism of fools;” the quick answer “It’s all about neoliberalism” is indeed alltoo-quick. The EU is a historically unprecedented supra-national unification project (Spolaore 2013). With its rhetoric of "the 99%" (the people) against "the 1%" (the elite), the international Occupy movement was an example of a populist social movement Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasise the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". Public safety, health and the economy are at risk. Populists do not all opt for what might seem the easiest way out of this contradiction – but plenty do, when they in effect suggest that one should think less of a silent majority and more of a silenced majority. Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union as well The spiral of silence can lead to unwanted effects, in this case — populism: Group A is opposed to populism and against allowing populists participate in democratic contexts (extreme position). What – once more – makes populists distinctive is that they can engage in such practices openly and with moral justifications: after all, for them, only some people are really the people and hence deserving of the support by what is rightfully their state. In other words, anti-pluralism and particular policy content are analytically different. Another variant of populism is based on inclusivity, seeking to bring politically marginalized groups more into the mainstream, as seen in the civil rights movement in America in the 1960s and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa in the 1980s. Witness a remark by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he was “merely the medium” and that “it is the people whose voice is resonating.” This is not offering the people different visions of different principles on the basis of which they might live together in the future; rather, it is pretending that the people have always already spoken and that the populist is actually just following their lead. Rather, the hallmark of populists is that they claim that they, and they alone, represent the people (or what populists very often refer to as “the real people”). Fear of their populist competitors prompts mainstream politicians to prioritize national interests and adopt EUskeptical positions, which weakens solidarity among member states and makes progress towards European solutions more difficult. Few experts saw this coming, and no one knows what its ultimate repercussions will be. The most obvious examples of our time are Chávez and Maduro. economic insecurity alone has fueled the rise of populism is inconclusive. The irony was that Gove himself had long been seen as a kind of intellectual among Tories. Increasingly, the European Union’s compromise machine is perceived as an institutionalized grand coalition between the center-left and the center-right that routinely ignores opposing voices. It seems that there has been an error in the communication. Eric Reguly European bureau chief. What’s more, they can form social strata that conform to their image of the “real people” – and that are deeply loyal to the regime. A resurgent form of populism is attempting to divide the world between an ethnically or racially defined class of non-elites, framed as ethically superior, and a decadent, globalizing elite. But if historical patterns hold, this kind of populism, fueled by strident nationalism, may increase the chances of armed conflict both within and between nations. But we also have to allow for the possibility of an escalation of populist rhetoric (and ensuing practices) because legitimate concerns were simply rebuffed by the powerful in what were less than perfect liberal democracies. Abstract: There is compelling evidence that globalization shocks, often working through culture and identity, have played an important role in driving up support for populist movements, … Populism is intentionally disruptive, even revolutionary, as it challenges the status quo and undercuts the existing distribution of power and wealth. Working Paper 27526 DOI 10.3386/w27526 Issue Date July 2020. Why should those who obstruct the genuine popular will in the name of civil service neutrality not be purged? making political offers of representation and citizens responding. But it is also dangerous, often even for its supporters. Group B is opposed to populism and against allowing authorities to impose limits to free speech (non-extreme position). Populist politicians thrive on fake news: it is so much easier to fuel people’s emotions if you feed them fabricated news of imaginary crises. Contrary to what liberals like to believe sometimes, not everything populists say is necessarily demagogic or mendacious – but, ultimately, their self-presentations is based on one big lie: that there is a singular people of which they are the only representatives. About the Author. Understanding the Global Rise of Populism. The populism growing in Europe and North America today is a different form fueled by strident nationalism that is defined by ethnicity, race and religion. It should not be thought of as a mechanical reproduction of objectively given interests and identities; rather, the latter are dynamically formed in the process of politicians (as well as civil society, friends, neighbors, etc.) It is also an illusion. In short: both pose dangers to democracy, and the fact that they can perversely reinforce each other compounds the peril. The 10 years since the financial crisis have shown that the system of economic governance which has held sway for … Populists will thereby keep invoking an amorphous “real people” who would have made a different political choice. 2 I shall concentrate in this piece on right-wing populism, but in no way wish to suggest that there cannot be any left-wing populism. What does the rise of Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Nicolas Maduro have in common? You can follow him on Twitter @steven_metz. We would like to hear them. [ SPECIAL OFFER: Get your FREE copy of our in-depth report on Resilience in the Face of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Public safety, health and the economy are at risk. Steven Metz is the author of “Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy.” His weekly WPR column appears every Friday. Finally, the chapter suggests a number of strategies of how populism can be countered. The role of financial crises in boosting populism has been well documented. Put differently: populists more or less subtly suggest that they did not really lose an election at all, but that corrupt elites were manipulating the process behind the scenes. It is always easier to use force against an opponent seen as less moral or less human and portrayed as a steadfast enemy of an ethnically or racially defined national culture. the establishment), or multinational corporations, or the EU, or what have you. This dynamic was also evident in the spring 2017 general election campaign of Theresa May who bet that she could destroy Farage’s UK Independence Party through imitating it. Economic populism mobilizes the poor or working class against economic elites in pursuit of a more equitable distribution of wealth and concentrates political power in the hands of the populist leader. The odds are that the world will see a new wave of civil wars and separatist movements facilitated, at least to a degree, by identity populism. The rise of populism has become a top political and economic issue in the US and Europe. In a sense, populists try to make the unified people in whose name they had been speaking all along a reality on the ground: by silencing or discrediting those who refuse Putin and Orbán’s representative claim (and, sometimes, by giving them every incentive to exit the country and thereby to separate themselves from the pure people: 500 000 Hungarians have left in recent years). Many populist victors continue to behave like victims; majorities act like mistreated minorities. But no matter how fast you run, you will of course never quite catch them. Download your FREE copy of The Global Rise of Populism today. For instance, the losing candidate in the 2016 presidential elections in Austria, far-right populist Norbert Hofer, claimed about the winner, the Green politician Alexander Van der Bellen that the latter had been “counted correctly, but not elected” (gezählt, aber nicht gewählt); in other words, he insinuated that is opponent had indeed received more votes – but that nevertheless he had not really been chosen (as if a real choice could somehow happen by acclamation or some other process not involving the secret ballot). What are your thoughts on identity populism? Yet even in the US and Western Europe, the evidence that economic insecurity alone has fueled the rise of populism is inconclusive. As a consequence of such opportunistic concessions to populists, political culture is shifting to the right, without any kind of proper democratic authorization by citizens. Related Literature Of course economics matters, but there is no auto- The Spectre of Populism “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. But he is doing something unusual and, I would say, unacceptable: it is not for the Dutch prime minister to define cultural “normality” in the Netherlands (with the implication that there is a “real” Dutch people and then those who behave “abnormally”). In fact, it is striking how often liberal observers on the one hand claim that populists in effect are all liars, or at the very least terribles simplificateurs – but, on the other hand, the same analysts always seem ready to buy the explanation that populists offer up when it comes to their own victories. A decade on, and the banking bailouts still fuel the rise of global populism . At the same time, it is important to recognize that a whole range of policy positions that liberals find highly problematic are nevertheless permissible in a democracy – and that one has to argue against them with the best arguments and evidence available, not with the polemical charge of “populism.” However, when populists reveal themselves as specifically populist – which is to say: when they try to deny the legitimacy of their opponents or the membership of certain citizens, or when they fundamentally question the rules of the democratic game – it is crucial that other politicians draw the line. the rise of social media. I do not mean to suggest that all populists will necessarily resort to conspiracy theories to explain away their failures. Thus, a PiS government or Fidesz government will not only create a PiS state or a Fidesz state – it will also seek to bring into existence a PiS people and a Fidesz people. In fact, the image has always been deeply misleading. LONDON. It draws its strength, as William Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, “from public opposition to mass immigration, cultural liberalization, and the perceived surrender of national sovereignty” whether to “distant and unresponsive bodies” like the European Union or, in the case of the United States, to the more amorphous threat of globalization and increasing ethnic, racial, religious and ethical diversity. Venezuela, Russia and Turkey are on this path today, and some European nations, like Hungary and Poland, may soon follow. Rather, we must hold elites who collaborate with populists or copy their ideas or effectively condone their conduct and shield them from criticism accountable. He received the answer he had hoped for: 98 per cent of those who participated said “no.” Still, Orbán faced a problem: not enough citizens had voted to meet the quorum; technically, the result was invalid. There is little debate here. Think of Hungary and Poland as recent examples. How the 'Places That Don't Matter' Fueled Populism. And it slips into the statements of U.S. President Donald Trump and his enablers on Fox News and other right-wing media, especially in their false depictions of diseased and crime-ridden waves of immigrants trying to overrun America’s borders. For all we know, they might have taken their countries in an authoritarian direction no matter what. Such a strategy to consolidate or even perpetuate power is not exclusive to populists, of course. One does not have to adopt their descriptions of political, economic, or social challenges in order to be credible in a debate with them. Populists will not get an oppositional narrative about elites going, if there’s seemingly nothing to complain about. 3 Which is not to say that all identity politics has to be exclusionary, let alone populist. The populism growing in Europe and North America today is a different form fueled by strident nationalism that is defined by ethnicity, race and religion. From the Netherlands, to France, to the UK or the US, each country has recently grown its own variety of anti-establishment, populist, right-wing party that threatens to compromise the peace and unity that characterized the western world after World War II. © 2020, World Politics Review LLC. This does not mean that they are right, but this is an issue where they can say something. In Populocracy: The Tyranny of Authenticity and the Rise of Populism, Catherine Fieschi examines the rise of populist politics, arguing that a desire for authenticity has been integral to its success today, focusing on the cases of France, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK. More worryingly still: when populists have sufficiently large majorities in parliament, they try to build regimes that might still look like democracies, but are actually designed to perpetuate the power of the populists (as supposedly the only authentic representatives of the people). 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