The potentials and difficulties of transnational populism : The case of the democracy in Europe movement 2025 (DiEM25)

Journal article


De Cleen, Benjamin, Moffitt, Benjamin, Panayotu, Panos and Stavrakakis, Yannis. (2020). The potentials and difficulties of transnational populism : The case of the democracy in Europe movement 2025 (DiEM25). Political Studies. 68(1), pp. 146-166. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032321719847576
AuthorsDe Cleen, Benjamin, Moffitt, Benjamin, Panayotu, Panos and Stavrakakis, Yannis
Abstract

The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), launched by former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, seeks to construct a transnational left political project to ‘democratise Europe’. Its construction of a European ‘people’ against an international elite raises questions about the potentials of populism beyond the nation-state. Building on a discourse-theoretical distinction between populism and nationalism, the article asks whether DiEM25 is a truly transnational populist movement. Through an analysis of the movement’s manifestoes, speeches, press releases and published interviews with DiEM25 leaders, the article shows how DiEM25 constructs a ‘European people’ in opposition to an international ‘elite’, how DiEM25 oscillates between speaking for national ‘peoples’ and a transnational ‘people’, and how it negotiates its populism, nationalism and transnationalism. The article contributes to the theorisation of populism beyond the usually assumed nation-state level and shines a light on the potentials and limitations of transnational populism as an as-yet understudied political development.

Keywordspopulism; transnational populism; nationalism; democracy; European Union
Year2020
JournalPolitical Studies
Journal citation68 (1), pp. 146-166
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN1467-9248
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0032321719847576
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85066863261
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range146-166
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online10 May 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Dec 2021
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