A Critical Review of Recent Literature on Populism

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

A Critical Review of Recent Literature on Populism


  • John Abromeit Department of History, State University of New York, Buffalo State, USA


Abstract  This is a review article of the following five recent studies on populism: 1) Ruth Wodak’s The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean (Sage, 2015); 2) Benjamin Moffitt’s The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style and Representation (Stanford University Press, 2016); 3) Cas Mudde and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser’s Populism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017); 4) Jan-Werner Müller’s What is Populism? (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); and 5) John B. Judis’ The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics (Columbia Global Reports, 2016). The review argues for a return to early Frankfurt School Critical Theory to address some of the shortcomings of these studies.


Keywords  authoritarianism; Frankfurt School; left-wing populism; populism; right-wing populism


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/pag.v5i4.1146


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