Since populism became widespread in parts of Latin America, was it mistakenly seen as foreign to Euro-American liberal democracy, and has it in recent decades become more widespread than parliamentary democracy or liberal constitutionalism? Is the potential for populism inherent in democracy itself, especially when conceived in terms of a dialectic between the majority and the minority? Is it always accompanied by a suspicion against the elites? Should progressive political forces resort to populist tactics and rhetoric in order to win back the masses from the far-right demagogues? Or does this inevitably pose a risk to democratic ideals of pluralism and universalism? Could this then pave the way to an exclusionary, antagonistic, imaginary system, which would play into the hands of ethno-nationalist forces? Is populism still compatible with democracy by continually testing its limits? And what distinguishes populist politics from post-fascist rule?
Guests featured in this episode:
Nadia Urbinati, the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University. She is also a permanent visiting professor at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa (Italy), and has taught at Bocconi University Milan (Italy), Sciences Po Paris (France) and the UNICAMP University (Brazil). Her main fields of expertise are modern and contemporary political thought and the democratic, as well as anti-democratic traditions.