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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

How can theories of hegemony advance our understanding of populism? Against the background of Gramsci’s work, this chapter draws on Laclau, Mouffe, and other theoretical resources in order to illuminate what shapes and animates populist discourse, what overdetermines its hegemonic potential. We focus on populist articulatory practices as political interventions operating within a broader socio-symbolic as well as psycho-social terrain that both facilitates their formation and—at the same time—limits their scope. The chapter highlights thus the need to take into account the broader terrain of populism/anti-populism antagonisms in order to effectively identify and inquire into the political performance and hegemonic effects of populist movements. Finally, a series of empirical examples are used to illustrate the argument.

Keywords: articulation, crisis, discourse, dislocation, hegemony, Gramsci, Laclau, Mouffe, populism

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