openDemocracy: The Origins of Populism

Political movements focused on democracy and justice are more anti-populist than populist, argue Seren Selvin Korkmaz and Alphan Telek for Open Democracy. Deepening polarization between conservatives and progressives – the inability for governments to reach compromise – adds political uncertainty and threatens prosperity. “’The tyranny of the majority’ which is becoming the hegemonic power in many countries threatens the notion of ‘plurality’ and targets minorities, intellectuals, democrats and migrants as enemies,’’ write Korkmaz and Telek write. Populist leaders tend to exclude and scapegoat, stereotyping “corrupt elites” versus ordinary “people” while offering few viable solutions to obvious problems. All critics of elites are not populist nor are all popular movements populist in style. Widening inequality, manipulation of the rule of law to thwart democratic systems, wasted resources and failure to reach compromise add to a downward spiral of frustrating polarization. Crises launch progressive movements that emphasize human rights, justice and democratic freedoms. Political parties that embrace progressive goals include Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, La France Insoumis, Five Star Movement in Italy, Britain’s Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, and the alternative independent movement led by Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party of the United States. Korkmaz and Telek warn each must avoid populism’s pitfalls and media mischaracterization. – YaleGlobal

openDemocracy: The Origins of Populism

Racism, hatred, anger, insecurity, inequalities are infiltrating politics; an alternative systemic project is needed to challenge populism's bogus democracy
Seren Selvin Korkmaz and Alphan Telek
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Read the article about populism from openDemocracy.

Seren Selvin Korkmaz is a Fox International Fellow in Macmillian International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is the co-founder and vice-chair of Political and Social Research Institute of Europe (PS:EUROPE).

Alphan Telek is a PhD candidate at Science Po Paris and Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. He is the director of Turkey Office of Political and Social Research Institute of Europe (PS:EUROPE).

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