Democracy’s Paradox Populism and its Contemporary Crisis

Publication Description

Does populism indicate a radical crisis in Western democratic political systems? Is it a revolt by those who feel they have too little voice in the affairs of state or are otherwise marginalized or oppressed? Or are populist movements part of the democratic process?

Bringing together different anthropological experiences of current populist movements, this volume makes a timely contribution to these questions. Contrary to more conventional interpretations of populism as crisis, the authors instead recognize populism as integral to Western democratic systems. In doing so, the volume provides an important critique that exposes the exclusionary essentialisms spread by populist rhetoric while also directing attention to local views of political accountability and historical consciousness that are key to understanding this paradox of democracy.

More information at: 


Chapter 4. Populism’s Claims: The Struggle between Privilege and Equality
Susana Narotzky