Populism and Political Elites

Jan Pakulski


Contemporary populist movements – outlined as an ideal type (anti-elitism, demagogy, “citizenism”, conspiratorial views, and embrace of simple solutions) – are analysed according to the Weberian approach that focuses on leadership groups: their styles, structures, rhetorics, and the relationship with followers. Populist leaders emerge – and populist movements appear – at the times of rapid social change and the accompanying crises. But they also herald the decline of trust and moderation among the leaders and activists. This decline results in deep divisions and antagonisms within political elites which is reflected in populist styles rhetoric. Populist ascendancy is ac-companied by degeneration of political elites and political decay, that is weakening the core political institutions of the state, rule of law, and democratic.

This Article is made in Open Access, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode.pl

This article is a translated and modified version of the text that was published in the previous issue of “Zoon Politikon”. See:
Jan Pakulski, Ruchy populistyczne i degeneracja elit przywódczych – analiza weberowska, “Zoon Politikon” (7) 2016, DOI: 10.19247/ZOON201603.

Słowa kluczowe: populism, populist movements, leadership, antielitism, demagogy, elite degeneration, political decay

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