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Populists in Power: A Comparative Perspective


Rather than starting from an elusive definition of populism, it is more helpful to look at the three meanings of the term “people”: the political dimension (the people as sovereign)—the historical and cultural dimension (the people as a community sharing a collective identity)—the social dimension (the people as the working classes). Populism is strongly linked either with the cultural approach (right-wing populism) or the social approach (left-wing populism). Although leaning in different directions, both populisms share the same political style. For long an opposition force, populists are more often in power nowadays. However, their participation in power depends on structural factors, such as the type of regime and the voting system, which give them a variable parliamentary representation. The ways in which power is exercised at the governmental level are also highly variable and this has direct consequences on the type of policies they implement.
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hal-03605719 , version 1 (11-03-2022)



Alain Dieckhoff. Populists in Power: A Comparative Perspective. Contemporary Populists in Power, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.15-31, 2022, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, 978-3-030-84078-5. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-84079-2_2⟩. ⟨hal-03605719⟩
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