Unpolitics and populism AAM.pdf (463.5 kB)
Populism and 'unpolitics'
chapterposted on 2023-06-09, 13:26 authored by Paul TaggartPaul Taggart
There is a now an extensive body of scholarship, both conceptual and empirical, that uses populism as an ideology. While we have some convergence here, and it is a welcome convergence, the elements that make up that consensus have omitted and elided over the relationship of populism to politics. This chapter argues that we need to re-insert a fuller sense of populism’s relationship to politics into the definition of populism. To do this, I suggest that populism has, at its core, an implicit assertion of what I will term ‘unpolitics’. And it is the confrontation of this unpolitics with the functioning of representative politics that makes populism so potent and so provocative to contemporary representative democracy. First, I offer a literature review to try and back up the case that the element of politics has dropped out of the consideration of populism. The chapter then offers a definition of unpolitics that contrasts it with other related concepts, and then the chapter considers three different implications of unpolitics for populism relating to populism's tropes of conspiracy theories, quasi-religious parallels and war metaphors.
- Accepted version
Book titlePopulism and the crisis of democracy
Place of publicationLondon
SeriesRoutledge Advances in Sociology
Department affiliated with
- Politics Publications
Research groups affiliated with
- Sussex European Institute Publications
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