The Populist Zeitgeist

  title={The Populist Zeitgeist},
  author={Cas Mudde},
  journal={Government and Opposition},
  pages={541 - 563}
  • C. Mudde
  • Published 1 September 2004
  • Sociology
  • Government and Opposition
Abstract Since the 1980s the rise of so-called ‘populist parties’ has given rise to thousands of books, articles, columns and editorials. This article aims to make a threefold contribution to the current debate on populism in liberal democracies. First, a clear and new definition of populism is presented. Second, the normal-pathology thesis is rejected; instead it is argued that today populist discourse has become mainstream in the politics of western democracies. Indeed, one can even speak of… 
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