'Mudde and Rovira Kaltwasser's volume makes conceptual and empirical headway on what is difficult terrain. They sensibly define populism as a 'thin-centered' ideology, more akin to a political style that finds highly diverse empirical expressions in conjunction with varying specific circumstances and 'thick' beliefs about the correct social and political order. The editors have done a great job assembling a set of case studies with just the right variance to speak to the theoretical question they put front and center, namely the differential consequences of populism for democratic participation and contestation.' Herbert Kitschelt, George V. Allen Professor of International Relations, Duke University
'Does populism do more damage to democracy by undermining pluralism and competition, or more good by boosting participation and inclusion? With its bold cross-regional comparisons, this interesting book establishes the conditions under which each effect prevails and thus provides a new and nuanced answer to this important question.' Kurt Weyland, University of Texas, Austin
'This timely volume helps answer one of the most important questions in the study of populism, namely, how populism and democracy interrelate. Readers will be pleased not only with the book's answer, but with its empirical focus: it tests and refines its theories through case studies that cross several regions. Such an extraordinary comparative perspective not only offers powerful insights into the relationship between populist discourse, incumbency, and democratic consolidation but also demonstrates the carrying capacity of an ideational definition of populism. It shows just how far the study of populism has come in the past decade.' Kirk Hawkins, Brigham Young University
Populism is a buzzword in discussions about politics around the world. Using a clear theoretical framework, a collection of eminent scholars analyze populist actors – from Haider in Austria to Chávez in Venezuela - to demonstrate how populism can be both a threat and a corrective to democracy.