Democracy and Populism: Testing a Contentious Relationship
33 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2019
Date Written: 2019
The phenomenon of populism and its relationship with modern democracy has gained considerable attention in recent years. This paper aims at advancing our understanding of how populism affects different models of democracy and tests the proposed arguments empirically. Building on the large scholarly literature on populism and democracy, we take stock of existing arguments and theorize which democratic models may be affected by populism in a positive or a negative way. Moreover, we move beyond the normative debate and analyse the effect of populism in power on different models of democracy empirically. We do so by merging data on populist governments in Europe and Latin America from the 1995 until today with the Varieties of Democracy data set, which enables us to capture the relationship between populism and different democratic models in these regions.
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