Veridiction and Leadership in Transnational Populism: The Case of DiEM25

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Veridiction and Leadership in Transnational Populism: The Case of DiEM25


  • Evangelos Fanoulis Department of International Relations, Xi’an Jiaotong–Liverpool University, China
  • Simona Guerra School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester, UK


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Abstract:  While research tends to explore questions of power and leadership at the national level, populism in Europe has moved beyond national borders, with an increasing number of transnational movements and organizations. This article investigates the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) and its leadership’s main speeches. Informed by both discourse theory and Michel Foucault’s work on parrhesia (veridiction), the analysis draws on readings of transnational Euroalternativism and populism, pointing out the conflicting logic of bringing them together at the transnational level. Our findings thus stress the increasing politicization of European integration as an opportunity to mobilize transnational activities, which are based on the populist ‘people vs. the elites’ dichotomy and against Brussels’ unaccountable elites (see FitzGibbon & Guerra, 2019), while indicating the limits of leadership in a populist transnational movement (de Cleen, Moffitt, Panayotu, & Stavrakakis, 2019; Marzolini & Souvlis, 2016).

Keywords:  discourse analysis; Euroalternativism; leadership; parrhesia; power relations; transnational populism

Published:   5 March 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i1.2539


© Evangelos Fanoulis, Simona Guerra. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.