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

Jason Glynos, Aurelien Mondon

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

20 Citations (SciVal)


Much of the media coverage of the 2014 elections in Europe has been dedicated to the rise of right-wing populism. Parties such as the French Front National and UKIP have been described as the response to the post-democratic situation and the convergence of mainstream parties. As mainstream parties jockey for position to reclaim this seemingly lost electorate, the constant, disproportionate coverage of parties which have for the most part struggled to appeal to more than 10% of registered voters has led both to their legitimisation as political contenders, and to the normalisation of their discourse.

Through a mix of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis and using the French and British case as illustration, this chapter argues that the seemingly irresistible rise of the ‘populist right’ has acted as a political logic, wherein their disproportionate coverage 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 no 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
Title of host publicationPopulism and Passions: Democratic Legitimacy after Austerity
EditorsPaolo Cossarini, Fernando Vallespín
ISBN (Print)9780815383789
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Democratic Theory


  • Populism
  • Far right


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