Populist politics and the politics of “populism”: The radical right in Western Europe

Benjamin De Cleen, Jason Glynos, Aurelien Mondon

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Populism in Western Europe has been especially associated with the radical right. Chapter 8 focuses on the role the concept of populism should play in our understanding of populist radical right (PRR) parties and on the role the signifier “populism” should play in assessing reactions to these parties by the press, other political actors, and academia. The authors challenge the prominent tendency to attach major importance to the PRR’s populism or even to reduce our understanding of the PRR as essentially or predominantly populist. Somewhat paradoxically, they argue that in order to better understand the nature, role and impact of populism in Western Europe, the concept of populism needs to play a less central part in analyses of populist parties. They also stress the need to reflect more on the performative effects of European discourses about populism—understood as a signifier—on the diagnoses of and strategies against the PRR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulism in Global Perspective: A Performative and Discursive Approach
EditorsPierre Ostiguy, Francisco Panizza, Benjamin Moffitt
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780367626563
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2020


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