Rethinking Populism

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:42
Oral Presentation
Filipe CARREIRA DA SILVA, ICS, University of Lisbon, Portugal
This paper advances a new understanding of populism, its origins, how it relates to democracy and how it functions. It begins by discussing the existing approaches to populism. In section 2, it addresses the Janus-faced character of democracy as the most inclusive and the most exclusionary form of government and considers democratic resentment as a necessary result of this exclusionary dimension. This is followed, in section 3, by an analysis of how populism constitutes a dimension of political culture associated with democratic resentment: rather than an immanent transcendental logic à la Laclau, the populist logic of resentment is seen as a dimension of political culture. To understand populism is to understand how the logic of resentment can be articulated in the name of ‘the people’ against an internal enemy. In the conclusion, the paper enumerates the advantages of this approach to populism vis-à-vis existing ones and points to future avenues of research.