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Beyond populism studies

De Cleen, Benjamin and Glynos, Jason (2021) 'Beyond populism studies.' Journal of Language and Politics, 20 (1). pp. 178-195. ISSN 1569-2159

De Cleen and Glynos (2021) Beyond Populism Studies - 2020-11-13- pre-proof version - FINAL - circulation.pdf - Accepted Version

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Populism’ has become ever more ubiquitous in political analysis, to the extent that ‘populism studies’ appears on course to establishing itself as a field of research in its own right. This article warns about the dangers of such a development. Taking a discourse theoretical approach as our starting point – but also critically engaging with this tradition’s contribution to the hype about populism – we suggest that ‘populism studies’ (and the preoccupation with populism this field embodies) risks reifying populism by focusing on populism as a <jats:italic>phenomenon</jats:italic> ‘as such’, and through an over-reliance on the <jats:italic>concept</jats:italic> of populism to approach that phenomenon. This, we argue, hampers a nuanced and contextualized understanding of the exact role populism plays in different populist politics. This is not a call for abandoning the concept of populism altogether, but a call for de-centring the concept and for moving beyond academia’s ‘populist moment’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: populism; discourse theory; populism studies
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:20

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