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International Dialogue

International Dialogue

Article Title

For a Left Populism

Authors

Emma Murphy

Abstract

Chantal Mouffe’s brief work For a Left Populism sets out to tackle the issue of how left politics should respond to the global trend towards populism. While elections in recent years have ushered in populist leaders in states ranging from the Philippines to the United States, Mouffe focuses her analysis on Western European populism specifically. Her argument centres on the importance of recovering democracy in an increasingly “post-democratic” world; to successfully radicalise democracy, Mouffe argues, leftists must first reform existing political institutions. While Mouffe makes an original argument for a reclamation of the term ‘populism’ by a leftist audience, the brevity of For a Left Populism makes a thorough understanding of its theoretical underpinnings difficult for those unfamiliar with Mouffean scholarship to parse.

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