Populism in the United States has been the subject of continual argument. Depicted alternately as a politics of provincial agrarianism, participatory democracy, or market-oriented modernizers; it has been all these things. Populism in the US is typically aimed at wealthy elites, yet populists tend to prefer the language of popular sovereignty to class, blurring distinctions in a broad definition of the people. While populism has had various iterations in the United States, it can be roughly divided between left-wing and right-wing variants according to how each defines the principal foe of the people: for left populists it is economic elites; for right populists it is non-white others and by extension the state itself.
This article is a selection from The Oxford Handbook of Populism, edited by Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Paul Taggart, Paulina Ochoa Espejo, and Pierre Ostiguy.
Featured Image: Richard Nixon campaigning for President, July 1968. Ollie Atkins, National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
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