Populism vs. post-democracy?


Europeans are usually alarmed or sniffy about American concern for democracy’s fate, but this time liberal opinion on both sides of the pond sings in unison: populism is a threat to democracy, Danube Institute president John O’Sullivan writes for the UK Spectator:

A recent issue of the Journal of Democracy (a sober publication published by America’s National Endowment for Democracy) provided a handy compendium of all the parties, policies and histories that can be included in the vast cabin-trunk of populism. A lead article by Takis S. Pappas, a Greek political theorist living in Hungary, lists 22 different parties he cautiously calls ‘challengers to liberal democracy’. He breaks them down into three categories: anti-democrats, nativists and populists. (All are commonly called populists in European and American media.) Of these, seven have held power in coalition, another four alone, and all but one of the anti-democrats are either ‘isolated in opposition’ or ‘extinct’.


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