Populism and Democracy: An Ambiguous Relationship
Mavrozacharakis, E (2018): Populism and Democracy: An Ambiguous Relationship. In: European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities EQPAM, Volume 7, No.4, October 2018, pp.19-35
17 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2018
Date Written: OCTOBER 8, 2018
The question of the link between populism and democracy is a crucial one and for this purpose this paper will attempt to illustrate the relationship between the two phenomena. Firstly, populism and democracy will be approached from the point of political theory. Secondly, there will be an attempt to present the ambiguity of populism through a conceptual analysis. In the scientific research on the phenomenon of populism, there is still a lack of consensus on the way that populism should ultimately be evaluated from a democratic point of view. However, on the contrary to the negative notion of populism, democracy is associated with clearly positive attitudes. In this sense, the problem of populism is linked to political science with more disreputable manifestations of the political phenomenon. But the dividing line between populism and legitimate democratic confrontation is simply too vague. Populism affects democracy and vice versa. It is not easy to design an absolute dividing line between the two phenomena. However, the reference to the people plays an important role in the controversial form of expression of populism. From this point of view, in this paper there will be an attempt to analyze the fundamental distinctions between democracy and populism, by studying the characteristics of populism that have an actual positive impact on democracy as well as the opportunities and useful corrective elements it offers to it. On the contrary, criticism will be attempted to the arguments that consider populism as a corrective element in the quality of democracy, considering that it facilitates the inclusion of marginalized social groups, as well as side-by-side arguments that consider populism as a tool which can be considered as a positive aspect for democracy.
Keywords: populism, democracy
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