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Populism and Intra-Party Democracy

Bohmelt, Tobias and Ezrow, Lawrence and Lehrer, Roni (2022) 'Populism and Intra-Party Democracy.' European Journal of Political Research. ISSN 0304-4130

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Abstract

This article examines how populism is linked to party organization and, specifically, intra-party democracy. Populism can be defined as an ideology (ideational perspective), which is characterized by anti-elitism, people-centrism, and a discourse emphasizing a moral struggle between “good people” and “the elite.” On the other hand, there are leadership-focused definitions which see populism as a form of organization with personalistic control (a leadership perspective). With respect to party organization, focusing on the ideational perspective leads to the expectation that populist parties will be internally democratic, and the leadership approach will lead to the opposite expectation. Using the recently published Populism and Political Expert Survey (POPPA) that develops party-specific populism scores, we examine more than 200 parties in 26 countries. The results highlight that populist parties gravitate toward personalized leaders and thus develop less democratic intra-party structures. This finding contributes to our understanding of populist parties and their organizations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Populism; Intra-Party Democracy; Party Organization; Political Parties
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2021 17:15
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2022 05:02
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31702

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