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in politics, a movement or political strategy that purports to endorse the will of the common or ordinary people, especially when distinguished from and opposed to a corrupt political or economic elite. Often sparked by social and economic disruption, populism typically involves a call by a charismatic leader for the people to assert their will and sovereignty and restore themselves to their rightful place in society, and the prevailing political and economic power structure is typically criticized for having displaced, neglected, or obstructed the people. Populist leaders tend to promote themselves as political outsiders, generally rejecting pluralism and basing their legitimacy on the shared values and strength of the group from which they derive their support. Populist movements and leaders, which can be on the left or right politically, often function as warning signs of a political crisis and force the established political order to respond issues they might otherwise ignore. In the United States, President Andrew JacksonJackson, Andrew,
1767–1845, 7th President of the United States (1829–37), b. Waxhaw settlement on the border of South Carolina and North Carolina (both states claim him). Early Career

A child of the backwoods, he was left an orphan at 14.
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 is usually recognized as an early populist leader, but widespread use of the term "populism" dates to the 1890s and the formation of the Populist partyPopulist party,
in U.S. history, political party formed primarily to express the agrarian protest of the late 19th cent. In some states the party was known as the People's party.
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, an alliance of agrarian interests against urban bankers and industrialists.


See B. Moffitt, The Global Rise of Populism (2016); J-W Müer, What Is Populism? (2016); C. Mudde and C. R. Kaltwasser, Populism: A Very Short Introduction (2017).


political movements or political parties which reflect a major disillusionment with conventional political parties and which have, or present themselves as having, the objective of returning political POWER to the mass of the people, e.g. the Narodniks in Russia in the late 19th-century, and the People's Party in the US in the same era. Populist movements have often been anti-urban, anti-industrial movements, and often also anti-big business. Sometimes they have been associated with CONSPIRACY THEORIES. In the 20th-century, the term has been applied to many political parties and to tendencies within political parties, which may be either left-wing or right-wing, e.g. the Peronist movement in Argentina, based on the urban working class, or FASCIST movements such as NATIONAL SOCIALISM in Germany

Some political strategies employed by political parties may also be described as ‘populist’, even where the party as a whole would not usually be referred to as populist, e.g. in Britain, aspects of the strategy of the modern Conservative Party under THATCHERISM.


a political strategy based on a calculated appeal to the interests or prejudices of ordinary people
References in periodicals archive ?
The popularist rhetoric relating to the notion of gonglun that emerged in the 1590s defined the term in a rather different way.
But this omission should not detract from the importance of this work in shedding light upon a secretive history, especially its public forays into popular fiction as well as into the medical fictions of masturbation, particularly those perpetuated by popularist health guides.
Hochschild's excellent craft as a writer and use of primary and secondary sources allows the book to speak to both an academic and popularist audience.
Brendan Nelson began to fill out the picture of what it is that we should find intolerable in an interview with the popularist radio commentator John Laws.
Oh dear, what a popularist viewpoint Cllr Michna attempted to express in his letter regarding the recent demolition of the CSI building, the Acklam Hotel, and the former Odeon Cinema.
In his censorious, popularist and indeed popular sequences of engravings he treats formal music with steady derision, which incidentally increases their burlesque impact.
They have also demonstrated a substantial market for popularist television studies, appealing to audiences of fans and scholars alike.
From the late 18th century onwards, the planters faced concerted opposition from an evangelical alliance which orchestrated arguably the most successful popularist campaign of the 19th century.
He said: 'Plaid's idea is both popularist and premature.
It is about two men who are doubles: Richard Lacy, an Irish Protestant landowner, and Francis Riordan, a popularist Catholic leader, are rivals in politics, and both are in love with the same lady.
The poets, the bulk of whom were nature poets--Elsie Cole, Kathleen Dalziel--with some more popularist poets, were also represented.