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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 problem is that many people don't want to devote more time to politics, and this is particularly true for supporters of (radical right) populist parties.
Speaking to ANI, Parrikar said, "It is not a populist budget but a budget which will become popular.
The NITI Aayog added that the current government had "never made a populist budget, will never make a populist budget and will never like to buy votes".
Part of today's populist backlash is rooted in the belief, not entirely unjustified, that this scenario describes much economic policymaking in recent decades.
They are strongest in Eastern Europe, holding power in seven countries - Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia - while populist parties are junior coalition partners in two others and the main opposition in three more.
Combining these elements, the study becomes a portrait of the European populist scene, offering the readers not only an unbiased radiography of the populist strategies, but also a portrait of the populist enthusiasts.
The starting point is that, while the personalisation of politics has been described as the destination point of complex evolutions in contemporary democracies, the relevance of leadership in the populist politics can be considered an ab origine element.
If populist politics is allowed to get a grip on British representative democracy, one might eventually find the NHS privatised by populist politicians who will surely argue that its costs cannot be sustained in a low tax economy.
Instead, American and European populist parties operate less on an ideology and more on a "political logic" they can cast on and off depending on the context and the moment.
A populist leader may say he is work ing on behalf of "the people," but at best he can only impose the preferences of the majority (or a large plurality) on the rest of the citizenry.
The new wave of populist politics that is sweeping across both Europe and the United States--from Britain's vote to leave the European Union, to Donald Trump's successful US presidential campaign, to Viktor Orban's brutal and illiberal democratic practices in Hungary--is currently destabilising 'politics as usual' and ushering in a new political order, and this has had disastrous consequences for the most marginalised, particularly women of colour.
European populist movements started out as fringe groups, but their views are today becoming part of the mainstream.