Matteo Laruffa

The absolutist dream of democracies in crisis. The political culture inspiring soft and hard populism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Democracy; Populism; Democratic Absolutism; Hard Populism; Soft Populism.

The widespread use of the name populism has provided inconsistent and conflicting guidance in political science. Though it seems obvious that populism is not a monolithic block, the current academic literature does not distinguish populist movements amongst themselves. The article finds that the populist universe includes benign or innocuous parties, there are many differences between types of populism in western democracies, and divergences in their path with the populist tradition in Latin America. It refers to the problems of identifying types within the genus "populism" and suggests three critical traits to distinguish between soft and hard populism. This perspective sheds light on crucial questions relating to the emergence of the ravenous political culture that has influenced many electoral results all over the world. It theoretically examines the resurgent political culture of democratic absolutism which poses important challenges for liberal institutions.

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