Quotation Blühdorn, Ingolfur, Butzlaff, Felix. 2018. Rethinking Populism: Peak democracy, liquid identity and the performance of sovereignty. European Journal of Social Theory. 1-21.




Despite the burgeoning literature on right-wing populism, there is still considerable uncertainty about its causes, its impact on liberal democracies and about promising counter-strategies. Inspired by recent suggestions that (1) the emancipatory left has made a significant contribution to the proliferation of the populist right; and (2) populist movements, rather than challenging the established socio-political order, in fact stabilize and further entrench its logic, this article argues that an adequate understanding of the populist phenomenon necessitates a radical shift of perspective: beyond the democratic and emancipatory norms, which still govern most of the relevant literature. Approaching its subject matter via democratic theory and modernization theory, it undertakes a reassessment of the triangular relationship between modernity, democracy and populism. It finds that the latter is not helpfully conceptualized as anti-modernist or anti-democratic but should, instead, be regarded as a predictable feature of the form of politics distinctive of today’s third modernity.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Social Theory
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Rethinking Populism: Peak democracy, liquid identity and the performance of sovereignty
Year 2018
Page from 1
Page to 21
Reviewed? Y
URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1368431017754057
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431017754057
Open Access N


Blühdorn, Ingolfur (Details)
Butzlaff, Felix (Details)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5118 Political science (Details)
5402 General sociology (Details)
5413 Sociological methods (Details)
Google Scholar: Search