The political logic of populist hype: the case of right wing populism’s ‘meteoric rise’ and its relation to the status quo

Aurelien Mondon, Jason Glynos

Research output: Working paper

142 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The term ‘populism’ has become ubiquitous in today’s politics and media. No longer a clichéd spectre haunting Europe, populism appears to have become a practical reality in the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, and the French presidential elections. It appears that the people have spoken and that their wish is for reactionary right-wing politics.
Through a mix of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis, and taking examples from the United Kingdom, the US and France where populist waves have appeared to weaken and even break liberal defences, this article argues that the seemingly irresistible rise of the 'populist right' has acted as a political logic. In this view, the disproportionate coverage of such a rise, with its accompanying potent mobilisation of affect, including its implied characterisation as the alternative to the status quo, has pre-empted the contestation of some troubling norms animating the regimes of liberal representative democracy and political economy.
By doing so, the hype around right-wing populism has impoverished democratic discussion, leaving little space for the essential reassessment of the system itself, instead aligning the debate along a rather stale and unproductive divide between a liberal human rights elite and loosely-defined middle class on the one hand, and a reactionary 'people' subject to authoritarian passions on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThessaloniki
PublisherPopulismus
Volume4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Publication series

NamePOPULISMUS Working Papers
Volume4

Fingerprint

right-wing populism
populism
representative democracy
politics
psychoanalytic theory
presidential election
discourse analysis
middle class
mobilization
political economy
human rights
elite
coverage
France
regime

Keywords

  • Populism
  • Far right
  • Front National
  • UKIP
  • Democracy

Cite this

The political logic of populist hype: the case of right wing populism’s ‘meteoric rise’ and its relation to the status quo. / Mondon, Aurelien; Glynos, Jason.

Thessaloniki : Populismus, 2016. (POPULISMUS Working Papers; Vol. 4).

Research output: Working paper

@techreport{ac755e9c0c0342ad8aed477052c7fd97,
title = "The political logic of populist hype: the case of right wing populism’s ‘meteoric rise’ and its relation to the status quo",
abstract = "The term ‘populism’ has become ubiquitous in today’s politics and media. No longer a clich{\'e}d spectre haunting Europe, populism appears to have become a practical reality in the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, and the French presidential elections. It appears that the people have spoken and that their wish is for reactionary right-wing politics. Through a mix of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis, and taking examples from the United Kingdom, the US and France where populist waves have appeared to weaken and even break liberal defences, this article argues that the seemingly irresistible rise of the 'populist right' has acted as a political logic. In this view, the disproportionate coverage of such a rise, with its accompanying potent mobilisation of affect, including its implied characterisation as the alternative to the status quo, has pre-empted the contestation of some troubling norms animating the regimes of liberal representative democracy and political economy. By doing so, the hype around right-wing populism has impoverished democratic discussion, leaving little space for the essential reassessment of the system itself, instead aligning the debate along a rather stale and unproductive divide between a liberal human rights elite and loosely-defined middle class on the one hand, and a reactionary 'people' subject to authoritarian passions on the other.",
keywords = "Populism, Far right, Front National, UKIP, Democracy",
author = "Aurelien Mondon and Jason Glynos",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
series = "POPULISMUS Working Papers",
publisher = "Populismus",
address = "Greece",
type = "WorkingPaper",
institution = "Populismus",

}

TY - UNPB

T1 - The political logic of populist hype: the case of right wing populism’s ‘meteoric rise’ and its relation to the status quo

AU - Mondon, Aurelien

AU - Glynos, Jason

PY - 2016/12

Y1 - 2016/12

N2 - The term ‘populism’ has become ubiquitous in today’s politics and media. No longer a clichéd spectre haunting Europe, populism appears to have become a practical reality in the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, and the French presidential elections. It appears that the people have spoken and that their wish is for reactionary right-wing politics. Through a mix of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis, and taking examples from the United Kingdom, the US and France where populist waves have appeared to weaken and even break liberal defences, this article argues that the seemingly irresistible rise of the 'populist right' has acted as a political logic. In this view, the disproportionate coverage of such a rise, with its accompanying potent mobilisation of affect, including its implied characterisation as the alternative to the status quo, has pre-empted the contestation of some troubling norms animating the regimes of liberal representative democracy and political economy. By doing so, the hype around right-wing populism has impoverished democratic discussion, leaving little space for the essential reassessment of the system itself, instead aligning the debate along a rather stale and unproductive divide between a liberal human rights elite and loosely-defined middle class on the one hand, and a reactionary 'people' subject to authoritarian passions on the other.

AB - The term ‘populism’ has become ubiquitous in today’s politics and media. No longer a clichéd spectre haunting Europe, populism appears to have become a practical reality in the wake of Brexit, Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, and the French presidential elections. It appears that the people have spoken and that their wish is for reactionary right-wing politics. Through a mix of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis, and taking examples from the United Kingdom, the US and France where populist waves have appeared to weaken and even break liberal defences, this article argues that the seemingly irresistible rise of the 'populist right' has acted as a political logic. In this view, the disproportionate coverage of such a rise, with its accompanying potent mobilisation of affect, including its implied characterisation as the alternative to the status quo, has pre-empted the contestation of some troubling norms animating the regimes of liberal representative democracy and political economy. By doing so, the hype around right-wing populism has impoverished democratic discussion, leaving little space for the essential reassessment of the system itself, instead aligning the debate along a rather stale and unproductive divide between a liberal human rights elite and loosely-defined middle class on the one hand, and a reactionary 'people' subject to authoritarian passions on the other.

KW - Populism

KW - Far right

KW - Front National

KW - UKIP

KW - Democracy

UR - http://www.populismus.gr/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/WP4-glynos-mondon-final-upload.pdf

M3 - Working paper

VL - 4

T3 - POPULISMUS Working Papers

BT - The political logic of populist hype: the case of right wing populism’s ‘meteoric rise’ and its relation to the status quo

PB - Populismus

CY - Thessaloniki

ER -