Populism

  • European Identity and Populism

    Identity as a theoretical concept in social sciences has evolved from a status of derivative importance into an essential and autonomous notion performing at present an important role that explains some processes of the contemporary world. According to Renata Dopierała, generally identity can be defined as a reflective attitude of an individual to himself, created by the necessity of self-characteristic building a system of ideas, opinions, convictions, etc., that corresponds with the given social context. However, the answer to the question: What is identity?, is not so obvious as some can expect. The relationship between identity, interests, preferences, and loyalty is also not so clear. Shortly speaking, identity can be also perceived as a self-conception rooted in the society, our attitude and relation to others. Its integral parts are two main components: individual and social.

  • Populism and National Identity

    Populism became a signi! cant factor of political debates in Eastern and Western countries of the EU and a new force in European party systems in the nineties. The frame for the discussion on populism is made by the representative form of democracy and responding to it dual system of media of communication. The popularity of populist parties and movements nowadays reflects the crisis of representative democracy. It is accompanied by the growing role of media in politics, which might be seen as the result of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the existing models of intermediation. The media also play a crucial role in the process of identity creation, at the same moment they illustrate the dificulty of defining identity anew.

  • Retoryka populistyczna w parlamentarnej kampanii wyborczej w Republice Czeskiej z 2017 r.

    Populist rhetoric in the parliamentary election campaign in the Czech Republic from 2017

    The paper presents the history of the populist dimension. Populism is depicted in this article as a phenomenon with many planes of conceptualization. In order to combine the considerations of populism and the party system, Czech groups have been investigated, which can be included in the current commonly called modern populism in modern politics. The subject of the study was not marginal groups, including detached parties, and those which have been present on the Czech political scene since 1993: ČSSD, ODS, TOP09, KDU-ČSL, ANO 2011, KSČM.

  • Methodological Challenges for International Empirical Studies on Populist Political Communication

    The objective of this paper is to analyze two research tools applied in the social sciences for quantitative and qualitative studies respectively, namely codebook, or coding scheme, and individual in-depth interview – in terms of their applicability for studies of populist political communication. To this end, three codebooks serving as the tools of media content analysis in the above-mentioned international studies conducted in Europe in 2012 – 2017 are critically reviewed, and the structure of a questionnaire for in-depth interviews planned within the COST Action IS1308 Populist Political Communication in Europe: Comprehending the Challenge of Mediated Political Populism for Democratic Politics is analyzed.

  • Qualitative Approaches in Populism Research

    In recent years, the amount of empirical research on populism has increased dramatically. The purpose of this text is to analyze these strands of existing research on populism which employ qualitative methods. Additionally, the paper discusses their basic categories and research design, and highlights the advantages and drawbacks of each of these approaches. The paper presents the three most influential trends in qualitative research on populism: ideology analysismorphological approach, discourse theory, and historical-discursive analysis.

  • Challenges and Prospects of Polish Studies Regarding Populism – a Political-linguistic Approach

    Populism is a multi-disciplinary research issue, especially as politics is concerned, present both in the social sciences and linguistics. Examined from different angles, it exhibits its semantic ambiguity and lack of a single definition. It is essential for cross-disciplinary studies to determine the definition of populism, which will also make it possible to determine the scope of the phenomenon under research. Such a possibility is ensured by the syndromized understanding of populism and by taking into account its manifestations on different levels of political discourse, including linguistic exponents, sender-recipient relations and a specific image of the world created within the framework of this discourse. The application of cognitive methodology in studies offers one of many research perspectives allowing populist discourse to be characterized from an interdisciplinary perspective, including a political-linguistic approach.

  • Anxiety Determinants of Populist Attitudes among Young People

    In 2015, so-called double (i.e., presidential and parliamentary) elections were held in Poland. The unquestionable winner of these elections was Law and Justice [Prawo i Sprawiedliwość], using slogans such as “good change” or “we’ll make it” in the campaign. The leitmotif of this campaign was discrediting any activities, including achievements, of the Civic Platform [Platforma Obywatelska] / Polish Peasant Party [Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe] coalition, addressing a “simple man” or the nation, and pointing out the need to involve the state institutions to implement the “good change” in favor of the “simple man”. Thus, Law and Justice adopted the anti-elitist position, pointing to the “pathologies of democracy in Poland”, mainly caused by the rule of the Liberals. Initiating the populist style of thinking was one of the reasons for the party’s success. This was an interesting research problem for us, especially that Law and Justice gained the trust of many young voters, aged 18–24.
    The success of Kukiz’15 Election Committee, based on the third place achieved by musician Paweł Kukiz in the presidential election, was also very significant for our research questions. It was fascinating because Kukiz’15 Electoral Committee, apart from the popular slogan about the need to establish single-member electoral districts (JOW) and anti-elitist approach, did not offer the voters any vision of socio-political order in terms of ideology or programme. Still, it managed to persuade citizens to vote for Kukiz’15 in the parliamentary election.
    These premises led to a research problem concerning the analysis of anxiety determinants that contributed to the positive reaction of voters, especially young ones, to the populist elements of the electoral campaign. Obviously, the fact that so-called soft populism is an inherent characteristic of all electoral campaigns was taken into account. Furthermore, we took into consideration the widespread occurrence of populist slogans in virtually all political programmes. Still, some questions remained unanswered, and the aim of the present study was to answer them. The primary question to answer is about the degree to which individual anxiety dispositions influence the development of populist attitudes among young people. Another important question is whether these are strong populist attitudes or just populist tendencies. The research results presented below are exploratory in character: this is only an introduction to further search for the answers to the above-mentioned questions.

  • The Symbolism of Populism

    The vast majority of the papers on populism describe this political phenomenon as one which is very difficult to explain and to analyze due to its discursive versatility and behavioural chameleonism. Furthermore, I would argue that the term populism covers more political and social realities than one single term would normally concentrate from a semantic point of view. I focus more over the psychological roots of populism which can be observed in the political symbolic field. In that manner, I consider that political symbolic, as part of the behavioural theory, can be a better tool for unveiling the populist discourse than the usual techniques of political analysis.

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