Re-Visiting Polymorphous Ideology: Populism of the Left and Right

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Varriale, A. 2021. Re-Visiting Polymorphous Ideology: Populism of the Left and Right. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 11 (1), pp. 60-70. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918x
AuthorsVarriale, A.
Abstract

In this article I aim to re-visit the contested concept of populism. I urge scholars to approach the study of this polymorphous ideology known as ‘Populism’ with an open mind. Today, it is no longer necessary to strictly separate the ideological characteristics of populism from its particularistic discursive and strategic elements. I propose that the populism of the left and the right share similarities that could possibly outweigh their differences. I first outline a set of misconceptions that have prevented us from realising that populism does in fact hold a redemptive side to it which can ultimately be positive to contemporary democracy. Second, I discuss the three main modern approaches to populism (ideational, socio-cultural, political-strategic) and provide a brief but useful critique of all of them. Third, I present my very own ‘fresh’ approach to the topic and provide an in-depth definition of populism in order to give “right-wing” and “left-wing” populism a better and fairer hearing, especially in an era where the discontents of world populations towards political elites are increasing. Finally, I share some thoughts on what the future direction of the study of such an intricate marvel like populism should entail, also addressing the question of whether in times likes these the left-right divide is still relevant.

JournalCrossing Conceptual Boundaries
Journal citation11 (1), pp. 60-70
ISSN2041-9090
Year2021
PublisherSchool of Social Sciences, University of East London
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918x
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2021
Copyright holder© University of East London 2021
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Foreword
Brown, V. 2021. Foreword. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries. 11 (1), p. 4. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918z
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Crossing Conceptual Boundaries XI, Winter 2021
Brown, V., Beedell, A., Di Emidio, D., Perouli, C., Robertson, G. and Varriale, A. 2021. Crossing Conceptual Boundaries XI, Winter 2021. School of Social Sciences, University of East London. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8918y