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THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN UNDERSTANDING THE POPULISM

Marin Dramnescu

Journal of Community Positive Practices, 2018, issue 3, 50-65

Abstract: Populism has become a well-defined attitude-movement in Central and Eastern Europe, integrating this region into a more widespread European phenomenon. Populist politicians in most European countries, through their speech, exploit social frustration generated by economic problems, indicating the main culprits: corruption, political elitism and immigrants. Against this background, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, they systematically attack democratic institutions, the parliament, court decisions, the justice system, central banks, the political neutrality of civil servants and media independence. The challenges faced by democracies and social organizations in the current context are extremely complex requiring appropriate and effective solutions. Since the changes occurring in the social and political environment are extremely dynamic and with hardly predictable effects, the political factor, through its decisions, becomes crucial for a coherent articulation and for the offered and taken solutions. Populism has not emerged ex-nihilo, but after a long period of cultural and ideological exhaustion of the elites in power. The fact that the populist phenomenon draws attention to the corrosion of democratic governance being able to generate movements of social rebellion without an articulated program and without clear objectives, requires a theoretical approach based on understanding the phenomenon from a multidimensional perspective. The identification and presentation of populist manifestations from the perspectives of various fields of research (historical, sociological, ethical and communication) is the main objective of this research. Thus, the section dedicated to a short history of the populist phenomenon synthesizes the main theories through which the understanding of the phenomenon, the relationship between the leader and the people he is calling for, as well as the evolution of neo-populism in general. The next section, Multidimensional approaches of the populist phenomenon, briefly presents a theoretization of populist manifestations in a historical, sociological, ethical and communication context.

Keywords: populism; populist cycle; ideological inconsistency; populist rhetoric; neo populism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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