Stockholm university
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Populism and Democratic Politics

Populist movements and political parties a redefining the political landscape across the world, in Europe and Europe as well as Latin America and beyond. In this course an in-depth engagement with populism as a political phenomenon is offered.

First, the course engages with competing perspectives on what populism isand how it should be studied. Is it an ideology, a strategy to engender political power or perhaps a particular style of communicating? Secondly, the course offers an engagement with the question of populism’s relationship with democracy: does populism represent an anti-democratic threat or can populism reinvigoratestale democratic institutions and work to include previously marginalized social groups? Third, the course exposes students to debates regarding what explains populism’s emergence in societies across Europe and theAmerica’s. Is increasing support for populist explained primarily by economic factors, the structure of political systems or specific attitudes and ideas among voters? Finally, the response to populism’s emergenceis studied focusing on dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of populist parties and their ideas. The course thus offers both a theoretical and empirical basis for understanding populism as a contemporary political phenomenon, drawing on theoretical and empirical debates on in political science and democratic theory.