The populism/anti-populism divide in Western Europe

Journal article


Moffitt, Benjamin. (2018) The populism/anti-populism divide in Western Europe. Democratic Theory. 5(2), pp. 1 - 16. https://doi.org/10.3167/dt.2018.050202
AuthorsMoffitt, Benjamin
Abstract

While the rise of populism in Western Europe over the past three decades has received a great deal of attention in the academic and popular literature, less attention has been paid to the rise of its opposite— anti-populism. This short article examines the discursive and stylistic dimensions of the construction and maintenance of the populism/anti-populism divide in Western Europe, paying particular attention to how anti-populists seek to discredit populist leaders, parties and followers. It argues that this divide is increasingly antagonistic, with both sides of the divide putting forward extremely different conceptions of how democracy should operate in the Western European political landscape: one radical and popular, the other liberal. It closes by suggesting that what is subsumed and feared under the label of the “populist threat” to democracy in Western Europe today is less about populism than nationalism and nativism.

Keywordsanti-populism; democracy; nationalism; nativism; populism; technocracy; Western Europe
Year2018
JournalDemocratic Theory
Journal citation5 (2), pp. 1 - 16
PublisherBerghahn Books
ISSN2332-8894
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3167/dt.2018.050202
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85062394556
Page range1 - 16
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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