Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties

David Hollanders, J.B. de Raadt, A.P.M. Krouwel

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the extent to which party programmes reflect the populist type of democracy-critique and propose a classification of different types of populism. We define populism as a political ideology critical of representative democracy but not necessarily anti- democratic, claiming that populism is more than mere political tactics or style of political communication. Populism is operationalised into three core dimensions: populists combine an appeal to ʻthe peopleʼ with anti-establishment critique and a call for a more direct link between political leaders and citizens. We analyse party programmes of six parties that are often labelled populist: the Schweizerische Volkspartei (Switzerland), the Front National (France), Lijst Pim Fortuyn (the Netherlands), Vlaams Blok (Belgium), Die Republikaner (Germany) and the Freiheitliche Partei Österreich (Austria). Our analysis shows that substantial programmatic differences exist between these parties and we therefore distinguish between several varieties of populism, depending on the way ʻthe peopleʼ are defined, the character of anti-establishment statements and the type of proposals for creating a direct link between citizens and government. Hence we reject the undifferentiated and dichotomous use of the concept populism and suggest four dimensions along which populist parties can be classified.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherWorking Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit
Pages1-23
Number of pages22
Volume04
ISBN (Electronic)1569-3546
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004

Publication series

NameWorking Papers Political Science
PublisherVrije Universiteit
No.4
Volume04
ISSN (Electronic)1569-3546

Fingerprint

populism
National Front
citizen
representative democracy
political communication
political ideology
Austria
Belgium
Switzerland
tactics
appeal
Netherlands
France
leader
democracy

Keywords

  • Populism
  • Democracy
  • Political parties
  • political communication
  • Quantitative analysis

Cite this

Hollanders, D., de Raadt, J. B., & Krouwel, A. P. M. (2004). Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties. (pp. 1-23). (Working Papers Political Science; Vol. 04, No. 4). Amsterdam: Working Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit.
Hollanders, David ; de Raadt, J.B. ; Krouwel, A.P.M. / Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties. Amsterdam : Working Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit, 2004. pp. 1-23 (Working Papers Political Science; 4).
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Hollanders, D, de Raadt, JB & Krouwel, APM 2004 'Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties' Working Papers Political Science, no. 4, vol. 04, Working Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, pp. 1-23.

Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties. / Hollanders, David; de Raadt, J.B.; Krouwel, A.P.M.

Amsterdam : Working Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit, 2004. p. 1-23 (Working Papers Political Science; Vol. 04, No. 4).

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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Hollanders D, de Raadt JB, Krouwel APM. Varieties of Populism: An Analysis of the Programmatic Character of Six European Parties. Amsterdam: Working Papers Political Science Vrije Universiteit. 2004 Aug 1, p. 1-23. (Working Papers Political Science; 4).