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Populism in Europe and the Americas
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Book description

Although 'populism' has become something of a buzzword in discussions about politics, it tends to be studied by country or region. This is the first book to offer a genuine cross-regional perspective on populism and its impact on democracy. By analyzing current experiences of populism in Europe and the Americas, this edited volume convincingly demonstrates that populism can be both a threat and a corrective to democracy. The contributors also demonstrate the interesting similarities between right-wing and left-wing populism: both types of populism are prone to defend a political model that is not against democracy per se, but rather at odds with liberal democracy. Populism in Europe and the Americas offers new insights into the current state of democracy from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view.


‘Mudde and Rovira Kaltwasser’s volume makes conceptual and empirical headway on what is difficult terrain. They sensibly define populism as a 'thin-centered' ideology, more akin to a political style that finds highly diverse empirical expressions in conjunction with varying specific circumstances and 'thick' beliefs about the correct social and political order. The editors have done a great job assembling a set of case studies with just the right variance to speak to the theoretical question they put front and center, namely the differential consequences of populism for democratic participation and contestation.’

Herbert Kitschelt - George V. Allen Professor of International Relations, Duke University

‘Does populism do more damage to democracy by undermining pluralism and competition, or more good by boosting participation and inclusion? With its bold cross-regional comparisons, this interesting book establishes the conditions under which each effect prevails and thus provides a new and nuanced answer to this important question.’

Kurt Weyland - University of Texas, Austin

‘This timely volume helps answer one of the most important questions in the study of populism, namely, how populism and democracy interrelate. Readers will be pleased not only with the book’s answer, but with its empirical focus: it tests and refines its theories through case studies that cross several regions. Such an extraordinary comparative perspective not only offers powerful insights into the relationship between populist discourse, incumbency, and democratic consolidation but also demonstrates the carrying capacity of an ideational definition of populism. It shows just how far the study of populism has come in the past decade.’

Kirk Hawkins - Brigham Young University

'Populism in Europe and the Americas is a valuable contribution to the increasingly crowded field of populism studies … it is unique and ambitious in its aim to test empirically and systematically the effects of populism on democracy in multiple cases … The case studies are rich in insights and provide substantiation for the conclusion that populism can be a corrective as well as a threat to democracy.'

Stijn van Kessel Source: Journal of Contemporary European Studies

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