5 - Crisis and Charisma
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 March 2023
Populism is unlikely to be effective where the masses are already incorporated into well-established programmatic parties. However, this chapter shows that deep socioeconomic crises can disrupt those political linkages, providing an opening for populism. The sudden rise of Hitler’s Nazi Party in the early 1930s provides the main narrative for this chapter. Long frustrated in both his armed and electoral attempts to gain power, the fallout of the Great Depression in 1929 and Germany’s own banking crisis of 1931 shocked many Germans, especially on the right, out of their existing political affiliations. Hitler, the master demagogue, was ready to take advantage through a sophisticated propaganda machine. In most other cases across interwar Europe, the populist strategy was ineffective. Less severe crises left most the populace embedded in their existing ties to bureaucratic and patronage-based parties.
- Why Populism?Political Strategy from Ancient Greece to the Present, pp. 132 - 162Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2023