The question for liberal democracies is how to channel populist energy into more democratic and inclusive forums.
Populism is a feature of contemporary democratic life. It is less a movement than an action done in public. This includes, for example, constructing allegiance and building coalitions.
As a way of doing things, populism is a tool with which to advance certain ideological positions and is quite independent of a particular ideological position. The real question for liberal democracies is not how to eradicate populism, but how to channel populist energy into more democratic and inclusive forums.
As compared to the recent populist upsurge in Europe, populism in Latin America is more identified with leaders than with populist right-wing parties. This is due to the impact of globalisation and rapid social change, which has eroded pre-existing political identities and accelerated the heterogenisation of societies. This makes personalistic forms of identity formation very effective in galvanising political support.
The AIIA for WA’s Flavia Bellieni Zimmerman interviewed Associate Professor María Esperanza Casullo at the IPSA World Congress 2018 in Brisbane.
María Esperanza Casullo is Associate Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Río Negro in Argentina.
Interview by Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann.
Video by Gavin Mount.
Editing by Tommy Chai.