The Reluctance to Use the Word Populism as a Concept

Abstract : The French debate on populism is somehow paradoxical. On the one hand, the French political landscape has been characterized by the presence of a strong far-right populist and xenophobic party—the Front National (FN)—since the mid-1980s. Some well-known authors have contributed to the international mainstream analysis of the phenomenon (Mény & Surel, 2000; Taguieff, 1984, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2007). On the other hand, French academia is reluctant to use populism to explain and analyze the FN. Some of the major findings presented here from a review of the literature since 1995 include the relatively infrequent use of the word, its quasi-systematic association with right-wing parties, and the critical tone adopted by French authors when referring to populism as a concept.
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Nicolas Hubé, Naomi Truan. The Reluctance to Use the Word Populism as a Concept. Populist Political Communication in Europe. A Cross-National Analysis of European Countries, Routledge, 2016. ⟨halshs-01401324v2⟩

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