CAST Publication in Economics and Society – University of Copenhagen

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19 June 2017

CAST Publication in Economics and Society

Grahame F. Thompson's paper "Populisms and liberal democracy - business as usual?" has been published in Economy and Society.


Populism is often thought to mark a sharp break with liberal democracy. But to what extent is this the case? In this contribution the connections between populism and liberal democracy are sketched in the context of several areas where discussions about populisms have stressed their discontinuity with the liberal democratic tradition and its practices. The discussion concentrates upon the notions of the people, their representation, elites, constitutional issues and economic policies. In each case it is suggested that continuities are as strong, and sometimes stronger, than discontinuities in these relationships. The contribution ends with a discussion of how it might be possible to defend liberal democracy from a non-liberal position in the face of the critique from populisms.