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The Turkish election as a warning against the irresistible charms of populism

Sofos, Spyros LU (2018) In Open Democracy
Abstract
Despite the fact that we are witnessing the emergence of a populist Zeitgeist worldwide, we run the danger of developing conceptual and operational definitions of populism that do not meet the theoretical challenges of the phenomenon or the political exigencies of our time. Yet there are sufficient commonalities in what appears to be a cacophonic universe made up by exclusivist movements and parties that construct definitions of the situation along phobic lines, to compel us to develop a deeper theory and a more clearly demarcated concept of populism. This would allow us to draw a clear line between populist politics and a ‘skin-deep’ rhetoric that is inspired by the emergence and relative success of populist movements as in the case of... (More)
Despite the fact that we are witnessing the emergence of a populist Zeitgeist worldwide, we run the danger of developing conceptual and operational definitions of populism that do not meet the theoretical challenges of the phenomenon or the political exigencies of our time. Yet there are sufficient commonalities in what appears to be a cacophonic universe made up by exclusivist movements and parties that construct definitions of the situation along phobic lines, to compel us to develop a deeper theory and a more clearly demarcated concept of populism. This would allow us to draw a clear line between populist politics and a ‘skin-deep’ rhetoric that is inspired by the emergence and relative success of populist movements as in the case of the adoption of some aspects of populist discourse by mainstream political parties as I have suggested elsewhere. There is no doubt of the utility of the existing theoretical frameworks. What we need however is a rigorous and constructive debate on how we can develop an understanding of populism that has a critical edge and a conceptual definition that adequately situates the latter vis a vis other concepts and conceptual frameworks. This paper attempts to suggest ways of moving forward in understanding and analysing populism. (Less)
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Contribution to journal
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published
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keywords
Populism, Turkey, political theory
in
Open Democracy
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2de29ea6-5f2d-4036-80bb-5e8057fee066
alternative location
https://www.opendemocracy.net/spyros-sofos/turkish-election-as-warning-against-irresistible-charms-of-populism
date added to LUP
2018-11-12 14:24:12
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:43:11
@article{2de29ea6-5f2d-4036-80bb-5e8057fee066,
  abstract     = {Despite the fact that we are witnessing the emergence of a populist Zeitgeist worldwide, we run the danger of developing conceptual and operational definitions of populism that do not meet the theoretical challenges of the phenomenon or the political exigencies of our time. Yet there are sufficient commonalities in what appears to be a cacophonic universe made up by exclusivist movements and parties that construct definitions of the situation along phobic lines, to compel us to develop a deeper theory and a more clearly demarcated concept of populism. This would allow us to draw a clear line between populist politics and a ‘skin-deep’ rhetoric that is inspired by the emergence and relative success of populist movements as in the case of the adoption of some aspects of populist discourse by mainstream political parties as I have suggested elsewhere. There is no doubt of the utility of the existing theoretical frameworks. What we need however is a rigorous and constructive debate on how we can develop an understanding of populism that has a critical edge and a conceptual definition that adequately situates the latter vis a vis other concepts and conceptual frameworks. This paper attempts to suggest ways of moving forward in understanding and analysing populism.  },
  author       = {Sofos, Spyros},
  keyword      = {Populism,Turkey,political theory},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  series       = {Open Democracy},
  title        = {The Turkish election as a warning against the irresistible charms of populism},
  year         = {2018},
}