Generation Brexit

Is populism a threat to democracy?

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The EU referendum campaign was arguably a suspension of the normal proceedings of liberal democracy in the United Kingdom. Countless analyses have proclaimed the Brexit vote to be an expression of a majoritarian and anti-pluralist democratic process, hence a populist one. For others, the vote mobilised the highest percentage of votes in recent decades and was thus an undiluted expression of popular will. Furthermore, the vote can be seen to have given voice to the disenfranchised and the forgotten and as such may have restored the people’s trust in democracy.

Can we thus classify the Brexit vote as a populist development?

• Where the causes of the Brexit vote primarily economic, and/or political, and/or social?
• What ideology stood behind the Leave campaign, how was its message delivered?
• What precedent does the Brexit vote set for British liberal democracy and with what implications?

Guide to the Brexit vote

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Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
1 Votes
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Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
0 Votes
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Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
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Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
1 Votes
Comments 0
Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
1 Votes
Comments 0
Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
0 Votes
Comments 0
Jacqueline Fövény

Populist rhetoric is more likely to be used by political outsiders to gain power. These include individuals who have been excluded or have frequented parliament less, as is exemplified in the cases of Marie Le Pen in France and Trump in the US. These political outsiders not simply use this populist rhetoric throughout but tailor it to their audience. If speaking to a demographic where their party or ideals have been welcomed more openly, their language is stronger than in regions where the...

Jacqueline Fövény
by Jacqueline Fövény
1 Votes
Comments 1
Jacqueline Fövény

Populist ideologies, especially those based on racial ideas, are not instinctive but rather they are taught or learnt. They are based on both cultural and economic phenomena which are often related. For example, the financial crisis and how it led to a loss in confidence in financial and political experts. This loss in confidence in experts has internalised people's approach to voting. This is dangerous as it means that instead of putting individual biases to one side and looking at the...

Charles Morris
by Charles Morris
1 Votes
Comments 0
Charles Morris

Populism is a lazy way to engage with the public and it's rhetoric appeal and essentially anti-pluralist nature are signs of a malfunctioning democracy. But it is only partially right that populism causes democracy to malfunction. It's true that there is a negative feedback loop of populism, which makes discerning readers or leaders dismayed by low quality discussions generated by populism. Be that as it may, it creates an incentive for such readers and leaders to push back against the tide...

llz
by llz
2 Votes
Comments 1
llz
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llz

Populism is usually characterised as juxtaposing 'the people' with a group of corrupt governing elites who work only to promote self-interests, and with the lowest stratum of society too in case of right-wing populism ( Muller, 2015 ). Politicians are often found relying on 'populist' language to incite socio-political division and cast doubt to the legitimacy of the liberal democracy too, from which they can profit. Admittedly, Brexit is per se a very suitable tool for analysing the rise of...

Shun Him Yau
by Shun Him Yau
2 Votes
Comments 0
Shun Him Yau
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