Political meritocracy and populism : Cure or curse?

Book


Chou, Mark, Moffitt, Benjamin and Bryant, Octavia. (2020). Political meritocracy and populism : Cure or curse Routledge.
AuthorsChou, Mark, Moffitt, Benjamin and Bryant, Octavia
Abstract

Offering the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between populism and political meritocracy, this book asks why states with meritocratic systems such as Singapore and China have not faced the populist challenge to the extent that liberal-democratic states have. Is political meritocracy immune to populism? Or does it fan its flames? Exploring this puzzle, the authors argue that political meritocracies are simultaneously immune and susceptible to populism. The book maintains that political meritocracy's focus on the intellect, social skills, and most importantly virtue of political leaders can reduce the likelihood of populist actors rising to power; that meritocracy's promise of upward mobility for the masses can work against elitism; and that rule by the 'meritorious' can help avoid crises, diminishing the political opening for populism. However, it also shows that meritocracy does little to eliminate grievances around political, cultural, and social inequality, instead entrenching a hierarchy - an allegedly 'just' one. The book ultimately argues that the more established the system of political meritocracy becomes, the more it opens the door to populist resentment and revolt. Pitched primarily to scholars and postgraduate students in political theory, comparative politics, Asian studies, and political sociology, this book fills an important scholarly gap.

KeywordsPolitical culture; Populism
ISBN9780429294846
0429294840
9780367271022
0367271028
FunderAustralian Research Council
Page range1-80
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print24 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Sep 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/DE190101127
Year2020
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon ; New York, New York
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