This article is from Democracy Digest, the National Endowment for Democracy’s Daily Blog:
Established democracies should draw lessons from the struggles of liberals fighting the good fight in younger and less stable democracies, says Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond.
Defeating populism requires a clear analysis of its structure and logic. As the Greek political scientist Takis Pappas – author of Populism and Liberal Democracy – has observed in the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy, “Populism typically displays four interrelated—and mutually reinforcing—characteristics,” he writes for The American Interest:
- These are, first, charismatic leadership;
- second, a strategy of bitter and incessant political polarization (separating the “good,” deserving majority from the corrupt ruling elite and their decadent and undeserving supporters);
- third, efforts to take control of the state and “emasculate liberal institutions;” and.
- fourth, “the systemic use of patronage to reward supporters and crowd out the opposition.” In addition, contemporary populism mobilizes fear and resentment against ethnic, religious, or nationality minorities, and xenophobia about foreigners and global institutions.
Read the full perspective here.