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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Populism and party politics are often studied separately, yet neither can be understood in isolation from the other. Any explanation for the rise of populism must inevitably address the deficiencies of party-based modes of political representation for which populism claims to offer a corrective. Indeed, populism thrives where mainstream parties are in crisis, or at least where they exclude or ignore major currents of opinion in the body politic. The study of populism, therefore, must be situated in the larger domain of political representation, and it is necessarily intertwined with the study of party politics. To enhance this theoretical integration, this chapter begins with an analysis of the representational deficiencies that are conducive to the rise of populist challengers, giving special attention to the recent European and Latin American experiences. It then explores the construction of populist parties and their transformative effects on national party systems.

Keywords: populism, political parties, political representation, crises of representation, Latin America, Europe

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