Populism and Neo-populism

as the Main Characteristics of the XXIst Century Politics


Răzvan Victor PANTELIMON

Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso


Abstract: This article tries to analyze the concepts of populism and neo-populism. We start by presenting some of the most famous definitions of these concepts, and then we shall analyze their characteristics and possible causes. The second part of our paper is dedicated to a comparative analysis of the two concepts of populism and neo-populism in order to understand the differences and the similarities between them with a view to clarifying whether there are two distinct concepts or the same concept but in different temporal moments. In the last part of our work we applied the theoretical model on the European case in order to see if we can speak of a European populism.

Keywords: populism, neo-populism, leader, populist speech.



Populism is one of the categories used extensively by sociologists, historians, political analysts and economists who study societies. There is no doubt about the importance of the concept for social sciences, and especially for the political ones[1]. The resurgence of populist practices (political movements, speeches, symbols and mythology) is seen by some analysts as the main feature of politics after the Cold War[2].

However there is still no consensus on what the term actually means, and although there are numerous studies on this topic, it was not until today that it made the object of a rigorous theoretical analysis (as were the other -isms, such as feudalism, capitalism, liberalism, socialism, etc.)[3].

Populism is one of those concepts (another is for example democracy) commonly used in the study of politics and it has different meanings depending on the context or the author[4]. All experts recognize the difficulty, if not the impossibility of finding a definition capable to cover the common characteristics of some very different events in time and space[5].

Meanwhile, it is precisely this possibility to define different realities, often contradictory, that made the term of “populism” to be used intensively and to gain popularity among researchers. Only a concept as vague and indefinite as populism can give us the ability to perceive and analyze the radical political transformations that take place in a lot of places in the world. More than any other concept frequently used today, populism captures the type of trials (tests) through which democracy is going today[6].

The difficulty to define it comes from the fact that “populism” as a doctrine or movement is complex and protean, appearing all over the world, in various and contradictory contexts[7]. Populism presents the feature of being able to apply to various or hybrid situations, thus giving doubt regarding the possibility of defining it[8]. This confirms Isaiah Berlin’s claim that populism suffered from the Cinderella complex: we have this shoe in the form of populism, but no foot to fit in[9]. Some authors even state that it is a concept void of meaning and utility[10].

Populist movements may belong to a diverse political spectrum, of both right and left-wing, can be conservative or progressive or both at the same time, can preserve or reform, sometimes revolutionize the society, and may have its origin in both urban and rural areas. As such these movements known as “populist” do not have a specific class character, because they are multiclass, with a low degree of organization, and want the promotion of social change oriented in a particular direction[11].

The only point of agreement regarding the term of populist is that it has its etymological origin in populous, therefore it applies to those movements, regimes, leaders or leadership styles that claim a certain affinity with “the people”[12]. The very term of “people” is not clearly defined and understood, so Ernest Laclau could say that “the people is a concept with a defined theoretical status, and despite its frequent use in political speech, its precise conceptualization doesn’t go beyond the metaphorical or allusive level”[13].

Another major difficulty in defining the term of “populist” is that this ambiguous and evasive concept sometimes becomes an anathema, being perceived as possessing pejorative connotations[14].

For a long time populism was a category of analysis used to illustrate the realities of developing areas, especially those from Latin America or Africa, the European countries being considered too advanced from the political point of view and as such difficult to be attracted by this mirage. In the last decade, however, populist practices began to appear more and more in European parties and leaders, most of them touched by this “virus” so that many researchers consider populism one of the most important features of current European policy.

Although in general the appearance of populism was associated with crisis periods, of intense social and political mobilization, recent studies show that this phenomenon can occur also in periods regarded as “normal”. The wave of pessimism that is felt today in European societies does not bode well. Amid the widespread pessimism more and more populist movements are beginning to take shape. We can understand why populist movements or leaders are present in the European political space even if it did not necessarily cross a period of deep crisis. The rise of populism does not necessarily equate with the end of democracy, but rather a readjustment of democracy with the new realities of the time.

In this article, we shall intent to define and analyze the concepts of populism and neo-populism, to explain the differences which can be traced between them, their characteristics and causes, and to apply them to a specific European context.

Edward Shils, in 1956, believed that:


“[…] populism is an ideology that proclaims that the will of the people reigns supreme over all the other rules, both those of traditional institutions and those from other social levels will. Populism identifies people will with justice and morality”.[15]


Shils insists in his definition on the role that the people as a whole have in populism, without mentioning anything about the role of the leader, his strong personality in his relation with the people.

Most common definitions of the concept of populism come from those who have analyzed the realities of Latin America. So, Torcuato di Tella saw populism as:


“A political movement which enjoys mass support from urban workers or peasant class, but not resulting from the ability to self-organize of any of them. She is supported also by social strata not in working class but who support anti-status quo ideology”.[16]


Di Tella identifies more clearly the social bases of populism, but just like Shils, he does not mention anything about the leader.

From another perspective Hlio Jaguaribe believes that:


“[…] populism is a nontraditional relationship, directly between mass and a leader who brings to the last one the active support of the first in his search for power, according to his charismatic ability to raise hopes and confidence of the masses in order to achieve rapid social problems if they get enough power. What is typical of populism is therefore the direct nature of the relationship between the masses and the leader, the lack of mediation by some intermediate echelons and the fact that is based on the hope of quick achievement of objectives”.[17]


We can see in this definition that Hlio Jaguaribe gives a major importance to the leader and his direct relationship with the people, who just like Shils, is seen as a whole, without giving a special role to a class or another as did di Tella.

The first systematic theoretical work dedicated to populism is edited by Ghita Ionescu and Ernest Gellner in 1969, being today also the fundamental reference study of populism. The research organization manor is extremely interesting, so, with no previously well established theoretical basis for analysis of the concept is based on the presentation of case studies (U.S., Latin America, Eastern Europe, etc.) and then, in the second part, it tries to conceptualize and theorize the notion of populism.

In the chapter on Latin American populism it is defined as “an organizational weapon that synchronizes divergent group interests and applies to any movement that is not based on a specific social class”.[18] In the same work, Peter Wiles believes that populism is not a doctrine but “all faiths or movement based on the following major premise: virtue is rooted in ordinary citizens, who are the vast majority, and its collective traditions”.[19] As such for Wiles populism is more of a syndrome than a doctrine or concept.

Recent analyses generally use the same terms to define this concept. Thus Vladimir Tismaneanu defines populism as:


“A political strategy that generates mass mobilization and enthusiastic support for a leader and a party (or movement) among heterogeneous social groups in opposition to the existing political establishment, demanding its regeneration, often on the expense of the human rights and freedoms or a minority, of the political, social and economic life”.[20]


In a research on Alberto Fujimori’s regime features in Peru, populism is defined as “an attempt to represent all social sectors through leader-mass scheme and with an approach which addresses the parties, the government and the institutions of liberal democratic inspiration”.[21]

An experienced sociologist as André Touraine states that:


“[…] populism is the call made by a leader towards the people against politicians and intellectuals who betrays them. A call to the simple people against evil representatives; the evocation of what defines and unites against what divides and against the oblivion of what is essential”.[22]


We can see that this definition of Touraine emphasizes the conflict component of populism. This raises the dual character of the populist phenomenon, on one hand he separates masses and “traitor” elite and on the other hand it is used as a means to identify the affiliation to a large community, therefore it refers to the people.

Defining populism is different depending also on the area of interest of those who perform it. Thus, for economists, populists are those political leaders who apply neoliberal policies in trend, generally associated to the Washington Consensus, as such economic policies applied when exercising political power that determines whether or not a leader is a populist. For political analysts populist are those leaders who achieved political campaign built on populist premise, so this term is associated more with a style of doing politics than the politic itself.[23]

This idea of populism as style of politics and not necessarily as a particular ideology or a specific set of policies is quite old, as she appeared in the study coordinated by Ghita Ionescu and Ernest Gellner, and then making career. And also in the present it often talks about populist style of some leader or politician, even if he is not ideologically or programmatically a follower of this phenomenon.

One last definition given here is that of Kurt Weyland whom considers populism as a political strategy with three main features: a leader who appeals to a heterogeneous mass of adherents who feel excluded and as such are available for mobilization; the leader interacts with adherents directly, almost personal, eliminating the intermediaries, especially parties; if the leader uses a political party, it remains a personal vehicle with a low level of institutionalization.[24] It can be seen that Weyland in its definition of populism emphasis on the leader and its role, without mentioning anything about the social basis of the phenomenon without using the concept of people.

For the purposes of this study we believe that the most relevant meaning is the one that identify populism as a heterogeneous political movement without a well-defined social base, characterized by the existence of a leader more or less charismatic, trying to make a direct contact with the masses by applying a particular style of politics that combine the call to the people as a whole with criticism and rejection of existing political establishment and with the promise of dealing with various problems, especially social ones. Otherwise expressed, in populism the leader turns to the people against the existing political system in order to achieve a utopian project[25].

Analyzing the appearance of Latin American populism, Alistair Hennessy reveals a number of conditions that favored the emergence and development of this phenomenon. Thus, the inability of the middle classes to fulfill the historic role of ​​generating their own values and stimulating economic growth; the adaptability to change of the large landowners who have admitted among themselves nouveaux riches and continued to provide a behaviorist model for medium classes imitators; the incapacity of the urban workers class to develop autonomous and independent organizations and the delay in the development of a culture of the working class; the acceleration of the emigrants wave to the big cities, which allowed the accumulation of a large unassimilated marginal groups here, are some of the causes of populism in Latin America.[26]

Another interpretation of the same study argues that populism has emerged as a response to the problems of modernization and its consequences in societies that have been put in contact with forces and ideas associated with a higher level of development.[27]

Alexandre Dorna interprets psychologically the factors that led to the populist processes because, in his view, the emergence of this phenomenon is generally associated with a syndrome of disappointment. When you reach a certain cultural exhaustion, lack of confidence in the future when traditional markers are no longer functioning, and the great national institutions (government, parliament, political parties, etc.), are drained of contents, then appears the possibility of a populist current development. The same author notes that populism is associated with the failure of democratic regimes, therefore the democratic disillusion push the masses to choose other ways, one of which being populism.[28]

Pierre-André Taguieff believes that the main “condition for the emergence of a populist mobilization is a crisis of political legitimacy that affects the whole representative system”.[29]

The emergence of populism is seen as a response to the growing (and not always unjustified) mistrust in the democratic institutional system and the disappointment caused by the political class performance.[30]

Although in general the appearance of populism was associated with periods of stress, intense social and political mobilization, recent studies show that this can also occur in periods considered “normal”.

Because the populist phenomenon as a whole is difficult to define and to be included between precise boundaries, even more the different interpretations of the characteristics of the phenomenon are difficult to fit into a unified typology. Very often the characterization of the populist phenomenon resume in a greater or smaller way specific definition parts of its process.

Peter Wiles listed a number of features of the concept of populism in his attempt to demonstrate that this phenomenon is more a syndrome than a doctrine. Thus in his view populism is rather moralistic than programmatic, which makes the logic and the ability to be effective less valuable than the right attitude or spiritual appearance. Populism tends to put leaders in mystical contact with the masses, while having an unorganized and undisciplined character. His ideology is poorly developed and any attempt to define or clarify ends either ridiculous or through a hostile response. Generally populist movements are anti-intellectual nature, even among intellectuals who adhere to them. Other favorite targets of populists are: the establishment, the economic elites (especially accountants), the military, religion (though while traditionalists are also religious), etc. Populism opposes social inequalities produced by institutions, but accepts structural inequalities.[31]

A synthetic construction of populism is offered by Garcia Montero, comprising five key areas: political leadership of a personalized and paternalistic type, but not necessarily charismatic, a multiple classes coalition, heterogeneous, which gather the lower sectors of society, a process of political mobilization from top to bottom, which eliminates institutional forms of mediation or subordinates them to a personal ties, an amorphous or eclectic ideology characterized by a speech that exalts lower sectors or is anti-elitist and anti-establishment, an economic project using redistributive and clientele generalized methods in order to obtain the support of popular sectors.[32]

A “sketch” more complex of populism is conducted by Alexandre Dorna in a series of papers dedicated to this topic.[33] According to French author populism is a syndrome at the same time confusing and exuberant which is associated with several signs. This is only a model to which may report real populisms, which will never fit entirely perfect into this model.

There is not necessarily needed prior a collapse of the political system to the emergence of populism. It is enough to have a crisis of representation from which a large part of society to feel that none of the existing political parties no longer represent their interests.

The main expression way of populism is the critic of the status quo and the establishment. When the citizens realize the gap between reality and the speech of those who govern, when they feel that they have no effective way to be listen, when realizes that elites do nothing to alleviate their changing situations, then the number of unsatisfied people increases until reaches a critical mass capable of erupting. It is not necessary that this eruption to occur, more often populism is just a warning and not a violent explosion against authority.

The fact that the main feature of populism is the existence and the active presence of the charismatic leader whose personal style marks his situation and his era, him incarnating the providential man, the savior, the mythical hero, is undoubtedly. His relationship with the people is direct, warm, spontaneous, making him not only his speaker, but also its vivid symbol. His style is rhetorical, but not demagogic, because his speech links a real diagnosis with an emotional vision which offers hope. For most researchers this charismatic character is a sine qua non condition of the existence and definition of the concept of populism.[34]

A characteristic feature of populism is its multiple class nature. Populism is therefore a powerful integration engine that can give birth to a temperate nationalist attitude. The lack of a strong structured organization is a constant of populism. Mass movement, rather than mass party populism is characterized by a lack of organized unit strongly structured, the only solid connection being achieved through the leader and not through intermediate levels.

Unlike other current political movements populism has a lack of a strong ideology, well defined, its ruling ideas being vague and in a permanent construction. Even if populism acquires political power, its programmatic feature is a popular pragmatism. The cause of this lack of ideology can be found in its original intention, that of addressing the whole nation against the dominant oligarchy, its claims being simple and concrete. The populist leader is in this case of absence of an ideology and a clear political program, the main catalyst of popular claims.

A final feature of populism is that addressing the entire nation, by necessity has to use each nation's great founding myths, so the symbols and collective imagination itself plays a definite role in a populist speech.

To summarize the main features and characteristics of populism we may say that it is addressed to people who contrasts the elite, the request is made ​​in the direction of the simple, common human been and not to a precisely defined class or professional or interest group; most of the time the exponents of populism have a lack of comprehensive and concrete political program, but a powerful moral compromise that has its starting point in some programmatic aspects; populism prefers direct relationship between people and leaders; has always multiple classes character.[35]

We previously saw that most of those who analyze the populist phenomenon sustain the lack of ideology, its doctrinal and programmatic poverty reducing the ideological basis to a genuine people's idealization, idealization that serves as doctrine. Populism, unlike a number of other political families, has neither prominent theorists nor elaborated doctrine. There are however a number of common elements to all populist phenomenon which by their frequency can be seen as some exclusive ideological themes of populism.

The main ideological orientation of populism can be considered the one that is his “negative” nature which must be understood as total rejection of all those who exercises a different credo, seeking dialog partners just inside its loyal audience. Populist projects and speeches reject almost all principles, institutions or political and social practices existing in that society. No specific political practice is challenged or a political leader but rejects in its entirety the existing system and challenge the legitimacy of the existing political and social order.

In general, in its essence, the populist speech is one of complete renewal: political system cleaning; corrupt and mediocre politicians elimination; anti-bureaucratic revolution; the emergence of a new really popular order thanks to the efforts and merits a providential leader, selfless, heroic and patriot.[36]

The appearance of this savior leader can weakened and even removes the democratic institutions because the populist ideology favors direct relationship between the leader and the people, without recourse to institutional channels. Once they’ve reached the government, populists seek to generate dependency and loyalty relationships to the leader and not towards institutions, because they prefer the respect and admiration for the leader much more than the actual position that the leader occupies. For example, it is not the presidency as an institution that generates respect and loyalty, but the person of the President, so that in the moment that leaves the function, the loyalty of the followers will follow the person and not the institution itself.[37]

From this absolute and utter denial results another ideological feature of populism its anti-elitist attitude, targeting bureaucrats and technocrats, held responsible for a number of problems in the functioning of that society. Appears also an anti-intellectual attitude, intellectuals being seen by populist as “servile and perfidious” propagandists who propagates an orientation in favor of the interests and desires of those which represents the rejected system.

Although enemies of the existing administration, populists are at the same time, because of their multiple class nature, supporters of a “large national union” that would bring together all social classes and strata, the only ones to be really excluded being the corrupt politicians and the inefficient and incompetent bureaucrats. The populist movements are not anti-state nor in ideology nor in action, they oppose the state in its current forms, especially the type of specific parliamentary system policies.[38] For a better illustration we quote here the words of Juan Domingo Peron, one of the leading representatives of populism, which stated: “We are democrats, but not from that democracy in which freedom, justice and law are tools that oppressors use to maintain power. We recognize the existence of one true and genuine democracy: social democracy”.[39]

Often the populist vision is a short-term one, their programs supporting immediate objectives, tangible and rapid gains being of a greater interest than major structural changes or the proposal of a well defined project for development or modernization of the society. Besides, although often populist movements were considered as modernizing, in most cases they self-proclaim their major affinity to traditional political culture of those countries. There are also situations where populist movements attempts to outline a rational program of economic, social and political development.[40]

Another dimension of populist ideology is the solidarity, nationalistic and moralistic one, which has as a corollary the support of the existence of a perpetual conspiracy against the people, which implies and justifies the establishment of a state of emergency, which actually hide the authoritarian temptation of populism. The appeal to the people, as holder of sovereignty that needs to be protected, has as real aims legitimizing negative and critical messages towards the existing structures and institutions, because speaking on behalf of the people, populist deemed to have a superior authority to that of their opponents.

One last feature of populist ideology is given by its futuristic, utopian, even millenarian nature. All populist ideology is based on the promise of a bright, positive future in which all society's problems will be solved and all the people's hopes will be fulfilled. Populist utopia constitutes as an ideal of life, social justice, respect of the other, security and especially as a founding national unity ideal.[41]

We have talked before about the concept of “populism” and about its various aspects and will continue with analyzing the concept of neo-populism. A very current issue is the one trying to discover whether current forms of populism can be regarded as modified versions of the so-called “classical populism” or gives birth to a new kind of doctrine or ideology, which can be call the neo-populism.

As the concept of “populism”, neo-populism too is difficult to define and analyze. There are a number of scientists who support the clear differences between neo-populism and populism[42], while others believe that this phenomenon is simply a version of populism and we have seen that[43] there are a number of authors who disputes the relevance of this concept and even its existence.

We consider a very simplistic approach the idea that the neo-populism is a natural change that is a result ​​due to the normal evolution of the concept of populism, toward a renovate form of populism which keeps the populist essence, which appeals to the people, and where everything revolves around a leader with more knowledge of charisma.[44]

In our opinion the neo-populism corresponds to a much larger change in the current social structures, precisely because we must takes into account the changes in other related fields of politics: technology, computer science, mass communication; and the developments through which have passed in recent years various populist experiences entitle us to speak about a new form of populism, which has a number of new traits and features and can be called neo-populism. This concept should not be understood as totally different and independent from previous populisms, but as an evolution of those from which varies in some aspects. We do not talk about a complete break from previous experience and about a totally new form of politics, so our analysis will focus on those issues in which the new manifestations of populism differs from what we might call “classic populism”.

We will try to analyze this concept through analogy with features, characteristics and specificities that have previously mentioned for the populist model. In the 80's there were a number of major social changes, which on long term interacted with the social repercussions of neoliberal inspiration economic reforms, causing thus a series of political effects, such as: increased political apathy and a weakening of all social and political organizations. At the same time increased the demand for structures and mechanisms of social integration.

With the neo-liberal policies, the role of the state suffered a major change, which had important implications on the part of the political parties as a mediator between the state and society. Thus the parties have seen affected a number of their previously held functions: intermediating the direct popular demands, reducing the cost of information for voters and structuring electoral politics, influencing public management, mediating between state structures and civil society, maintaining a social control over officials, etc.

One of the results of this political and cultural transformation was the emergence of new political leaders, anti-political leaders, outsiders, etc. They seek to build a political space in which the fundamental separation will be the one between the political class and the people, supporting the people and presenting themselves as the incarnation of the popular will, as saviors of the nation, etc. Therefore one of the main features of these leaders is authoritarian trends, messianic and paternalistic attitudes, Manichaeism and opposition to all forms of organization with precise rules. They try to obtain the support of the masses through a speech which is messianic, protector, interpersonal, directly and without intermediaries.[45]

The emergence of this new kind of populism is explained as a result of the tensions that arise between an economy that marginalizes and politics which require integration. Neoliberal policies have eroded class identities and created amorphous masses, that needs to be integrated into society. This is one of the major differences of the new model, applying exclusivist neoliberal policies, compared with classic populism which develops and implements inclusion policies for the popular sectors.[46]

Like the initial concept of populism the neo-populism is difficult to define. From an institutional perspective he gains a number of features listed below. The neo-populism is seen as a high form of political voluntarism and decisionism, developed in the context of a weakening of institutions and decadence of politics, rooted in a deep crisis of democratic institutions (political parties, the executive and parliament etc.). This phenomenon exacerbates an authoritarian and anti - institutional style of politics, which in turn derives from a paternalistic political culture which feeds undoubtedly from the presidential regime type.[47]

A synthetic definition of neo-populism is that it assimilates with:


“[…] a style of action perceptible through specific forms that assume speech and political action: a primacy of personal charisma in political representation, poor formal institutional mechanisms, the influence of cultural factors in political changes and ideological precariousness”.[48]


It can be seen that on defining the neo-populism, compared with populism, the emphasis is put on the idea that this phenomenon is a style of politics, characteristic of certain political leaders.

Other definitions of neo-populism focus on how the politics is made through the use of media and other modern techniques. Thus Guy Hermet believes that this term designates:


“[…] populist electoral techniques on the political marketing level, but liberal and fair to democratic orthodoxy in which regard the intentions of the leaders who use them. This media marketing is the common denominator of a neo-populism media-liberal which is only a technical resource. This neo-populism merely cultivates a citizenship based on facile emotions using seductive proposals and particularly photogenic candidates for election”.[49]


The causes of this new type of political behavior are also different in some way from those who led previously to the emergence of populist processes. Perelli believes that the emergence of neo-populism can be explained by the following factors: the crisis of political parties, the lack of confidence in prior political leaders, the need of a large part of the population to receive a message of hope, the existence of a person who can easily communicate with the masses, mainly by means of mass communication and proposing vague actions involving especially a symbolic activity oriented towards taking into consideration the interests of the people.[50]

One of the main causes of the emergence of neo-populism is the lack of a consolidated party system, which allows non-political leaders to easily attract popular support without necessarily integrating a political organization and without having to compete with them, by appealing to those voters who lack a party identification. The constant turmoil within the parties, their frequent changes, discredits classical political bodies and leaves a breeding ground for neo-populist leaders who does have to overcome too many organizational obstacles in their race toward power.[51]

Others think that on the contrary, the strengthening of political parties, resulting in the creation of a “partidocracy” and a “cartel party system”, is one of the causes of neo-populism.[52] Thus, analyzing the case of Venezuela, Ramirez Roa believes that switching to partidocracy, the primacy of political parties, was achieved at the expense of the individual will of the voter that is required to vote only what the parties offers him without having a choice. On the other hand, the process of decision making disregards completely the will or interests of citizens. Thus appears a crisis of political representation, which deepens the fracture between the government and the governed and creates an environment for the development of neo – populism.[53]

In another opinion the causes of neo-populism are considered the follows: the economic crisis and social exclusion implied by the crisis, plus the crisis of political parties and a general distrust and disappointment to party politics and it aggregates the effects of the presidential system and of the institutions that fosters and nurtures the emergence of this type of political leaders who, at their turn, are part of a tradition of politics that belongs to societies with serious social inequalities.[54]

Harry E. Vaden believes that raising the level of education, expanding suffrage, bigger gender equality, a more sophisticated political culture and an extensive involvement in politics led to the necessity of new forms of political participation, which did not found their satisfaction in the traditional populism.[55] This view contradicts the general opinion that populism and neo-populism are specific for poor societies with low levels of education and culture, where the population does not participate actively at the political life.

Analyzing the neo-populist phenomenon from a psychological perspective, Alexandre Dorna believes that among the causes of this phenomenon are: the absence of a joint project for the future of humanity, the failure of both liberal and communist explanatory theories, the monopolistic presence of a neo-liberalism at the governmental level, the erosion of solidarity bases, the increasing demand for security in an more dangerous world, plus the demand for providential leaders and charismatic figures able to oppose the status quo that oppresses the silent majority.[56]

Following Dorna in the analysis of neo-populism characteristics compared with those of classical populism, we discover a number of common elements to both processes, but also fundamental differences. In the first category are: a personal call launched by a charismatic leader towards the people, this call being addressed to the people as a whole (less to the illegitimate elites suspected of plotting) and thus have a unifying character. The people targeted by this call are genuine, remained himself, who retain his national identity and the required change involves a purifying rupture with the present (the system being considered corrupt). The main differentiator element is that the vector of the new populism is the perverse use of the media and especially television.[57]

For Guillermo O'Donnell the neo-populist phenomenon appears as “delegate democracy”. In O'Donnell's vision delegate model has the following features:  popular sovereignty delegation towards the President, who is seen as the embodiment of the nation and as the main pursuer of the national interest, the presidential paternalism, intense mobilization, the decreasing role of the legislative and judicial power, the elected president being authorized by delegation to govern as he considers.[58]

Regarding the characteristics of neo-populism, the most interesting one is that the new populist leaders are demonstrated to be more fragile and ephemeral (temporary) than those of classical populism period. Since there are no longer derived strong identities nor stable aggregate interests, both being currently more diffuse, neo-populist leader is obliged to make a constant effort to translate into public policy the demands and expectations of the voters, to build and maintain images able to mobilize. The ability of these leaders to stay in power depends on their ability to govern effectively, to have tangible results and continuously build their image according to the requirements and wishes of the masses.[59]

In classic populism the leader stands and wins elections by the intrinsic attraction it possesses and which is reflected in a stunning over the masses. As we have seen in most studies, the populist leader is presented as a self-made man[60] who needs no outside power structure except his unshakable conviction. His attitude is that of a close older brother, who seek direct contact and dialogue with everyone. Communication is horizontal, which gives the illusion of natural and direct approach. Dialogue is always accompanied by big open gestures and charming words, spoken with vivacity and spontaneity often worthy of a renowned actor, which leaves, even in the memory of unknown interlocutors, a lasting impression of sympathy. Enthusiasm is continually revived due to the multiple forms of contact: from the blinking of an eye or friendly handshake to direct interpellation[61].

A very important role in this equation lies in the massive use of mass-media communication. Besides, as we previously noted, the use of new techniques and of the media is one of the defining characteristics of the new populism, constituting also an important element of differentiation from previous populist experiences.[62] But neo-populist strategy seeks to overcome this elective routine so that once in power the neo-populist leaders have the ambition to retain a wider audience relying on a personal style, on bringing in the public discussion of issues rejected or not addressed by the previous political parties.[63]

Neo-populist leader now relies heavily on the use of the innovations in the field of mass communication and, in particular, that of television. But it required that the leader know how to use these tools to meet their interests, how to make them "work" for him and how to be always vigilant in order not to let the media turn into a double-edged weapon. Given this interdependence between the leader and the media, especially television, many experts have labeled as neo- populism, in fact, a tele-populism.[64] We observe, therefore, that the neo-populism has made the transition from a direct address to one mediated by technical means from new technologies of mass communication.

The electoral campaign, especially how it is designed and conducted, is another indicator of the cleavage between the two trends. If, for example, in “classical populism” were sufficient direct meetings with voters, speeches impregnated with well-chosen words, highly motivational and prefigured saving solutions to existing social problems, now the approach is slightly different. Different approach is a result of the fact that the crowd, however irrational and impulsive as it is today, is taken his few moments of reflection to discern between all the utopias and promises that are circulating. Therefore it is necessary for motivational speeches and vibrant leader of the neo-populist to be coupled with a continuous stream of information coming from the media to reiterate the words of the leader and fixed in the collective mind of this proposed new course. This idea is supported by Alexandre Dorna going up there saying that “technological innovation and mass-media communication are so commonly used in electoral campaigns of neo-populist orientation that it has become virtually inseparable one from each other”.[65]

Just like in the case of populism, neo-populist movements do not have a well defined ideology, they advocating for a number of transformation of the economic and political model. Many of the issues presented for populism it repeats also in the neo-populist model. Ideologically the neo-populist speech reveals itself as ambiguous and eclectic. It is a mixture of elements which appeal to the masses, to the oppressed people and to the nation threatened by internal and external enemies, and which at the same time show their support for neo-liberal values ​​and economy transformation strategies based on the market economy. Here is a new differentiation from classical populism as neo-populist abandon themes like anti-imperialism, economy nationalization, development based on own resources and distributive ideas, to provide a set of policies which restrict the role of the state in the economy; which militate for privatization, the export orientation of the economy and towards the opening to world trade.[66]

It preserves, however, a number of elements of classic populist speech. Thus, these leaders proposed themselves as an ultima ratio to the people’s confidence in the institutions as a guarantee that modernization (and its accompanying reforms) will be effective and at the lowest possible social cost. In other words, neo-populists present themselves at the same time as the personification of order, of the ability to govern and to take decisions, but also as paternalistic protectors of the people, watching for those that represent and protect against the rigors of economists and technocrats (mostly brought to power by themselves), compared to a world insensitive to the suffering of people and a society where the inequalities have been deepened by the competition and free market and generalizing thus the feeling of uncertainty and personal insecurity.[67]

The combination between political populism and economic liberalism, specific to neo-populism is one of the most important features of the new process and the one that differentiate fundamentally neo-populism from classical populism. The latter was associated with nationalist, protectionist and distributive economic policies, centered on domestic market, based on increasing government spending, which at their turn lead to higher inflation.

Another difference between the two processes is the targeted social sectors addressed by them and represented by them. If populist addressed all sectors with an integrated vision, neo-populists choose as the target of their speeches, which use considerable technological resources that are based on fears, anxieties and frustrations of those that who now feel threatened their status and position due to globalization, the latest avatar of modernization, particularly the marginalized sectors, excluded and discriminated economic, political, racial, cultural, social, etc. This explains the importance gained in the neo-populist movements of social groups such as indigenous people, mestizos, immigrants, unemployed, etc.[68] At the same time neo-populist no longer refer to sectors that were crucial for populists, such as trade unions or big industrialists.[69]

Despite the differences between various models of neo-populism, and also between neo-populist leaders, there are some recurring linguistic, behavior and semantics markers common to all these speeches, which were analyzed by Alexandre Dorna.[70]

Thus neo-populist language is simple, with few technical terms, easily comprehensible for all. The style is direct, with a frankness which put in inferiority traditional wooden language used by politicians, officials and technocrats. Discursive logic is one belonging to common sense, the arguments used are not in any case abstract and the gestures are large and warm. There is a strong presence of promises, constructed in the passive voice, that describe with energy and passion a positive future. Speech is the bi-polarized type: we and the others, the latter often receiving negative connotations. People praise and identification, sometimes folkloric, of its roots, is crossing permanently the speech. Criticism of the ruling elite becomes a leitmotif correlated with its fight against the status quo imposed by the establishment, by the political class and the illegitimate forces that have seized people power.  The main terms used are: nation, people, “we”, the elite (with negative connotation), the motherland, our country, the powerful, the rich, the weak, the poor, work, family, national effort, sovereignty, traditional values​​, individual security and so on. Heavily use of rhetorical figures such as: repetition, metaphor, allegory, irony, antithesis, parable, permanent reference nation's history to emphasize the participation to a community, the call to national cohesion around the symbols and the keywords that refer to the old ideological cleavages, the evocation of the great founding myths and the skillful exploitation of legends and popular imagery. The vocabulary, grammar and semantics are so used to produce a musicality of speech, an exhilarating rhythm.

An interesting analysis of the differences between “historical populism” and “advanced populism” is carried out in a paper published in the Romanian space.[71] Trying to define the conceptual differences between populism and neo-populism Sergiu Mişcoiu consider eight criteria of comparison between historical and advanced populisms features (as he called the new forms of populism)[72]. We will analyze these criteria and how they are present in the new types of populism, because we will see that are very applicable to the European space.

The first criterion for comparison is popular identity. Thus,

“[…] advanced populism relies less on a founding act, on the original and consistent identification of the people and more on ad hoc (for this) identity reunion of individuals, groups and social classes, of ideas and political trends, of ethnic minorities or caste interests, passions, tastes and individual provisions.”[73]

According to the author this is the case of Western Europe where populists were required to synthesize the multiple identities of the masses, and the best example is the case of Silvio Berlusconi and his political parties, that have tried and succeeded for a period of time, to put together middle and popular classes by offering a model which was in the same time pragmatic, modern and progressive, but also a speech about respecting the national values ​​of the people.[74]

             A second comparison element concerns the way in which is realized the reference to the past and the future. Thus modern populism contains references to the past, the dominant trend is the orientation towards the future, the reform and the existing establishment removal. More the potential adherents are dissatisfied with the present and how they are represented by the political class, more the references to the future are stronger. Sergiu Mişcoiu present the Dutch populists case, which increased their percentage amid a speech that addressed the issues of insecurity, immigration, defense of traditional values ​​against multiculturalism and Islamisation threat.[75]

The next element of differentiation is linked to neo-populist mission. Thus they give up many of the transcendental ideas of redemption, the salvation of the people, etc., and returns to solve more concrete issues: cleaning the political world, reducing taxes, strengthening the citizens powers of referendum, helping poorer regions, to return elderly dignity, supporting the integration of young people, passing the corrupt thru the people’s courts, restricting the waves of immigrants, etc.[76]

            Regarding doctrinal coherence advanced populism is more flexible, showing heterogeneity and adaptability. It is common that leftist leaders or party propose rightist measures, and vice versa.[77]

Leader’s position is also a different one, without the previous separation or barrier where classic populist leader was admired and seen as belonging to a higher class. Neo-populist leader is generally a simple man of the people, who tries to establish feelings of camaraderie and closeness to the people, which often makes the language and speech to be of a low level, perhaps even vulgar, to establish this connection and communion with people.[78]

These changes reach also the communication area that becomes more one of “relation’s” than of “tribunes”. We have already seen extensively the features of the new communication mode, so we will not dwell on this differentiating feature.[79]

The last two comparison criteria are related with the logic of neo-populism in power, which is one of controversy, a permanent rift and rupture; and also to the longevity of populism effects, that are temporary.[80]

In conclusion of this comparative analysis it states that:

“On one hand there are not enough features to make neo-populism a discursive register that works by other principles than those followed by populism; on the other hand, between classical and advanced populism there are enough points of differentiation for the latter to be considered the most important stage in the historical evolution of the great populist family”.[81]

Populist movements have been labeled for long as belonging to Latin America, and extrapolation to other areas were heavily controlled. In the last years, however, begins questioning whether: Can we talk in Europe about the existence of a space conducive to the development of populist movements?

The answers are as usual different, so some authors dispute the possibility of populism in Europe because the democratic tradition and the functionality of the system is too strong to allow disturbances; while other researchers (which we rally) believe that Europe has not escaped this phenomenon, which is increasingly present in the post – Cold War European society.

In the first category falls Bela Greskovits explaining the surprising lack of “populist episode” in post-communist societies in Eastern Europe compared to the events unfolding in Latin America since the '70s, continuing in the '80s and even in the ' 90. While the economic crisis in Latin America led to violent protests and created favorable prerequisites for neo-populist leader’s affirmation, in Europe a similar situation has left no trace. The explanation can be found in the primacy of neo- liberal theory throughout the European area (fully justified explanation to the author, considering the fact that Bela Greskovits is an economist by excellence). Its findings are not decisive, leaving room to speculations and interpretations. He states that although there was no full convergence yet of economic and political factors favorable to emergence of populist movements in the European space, this may occur in the future.[82]

We seen in the beginning of the article that one of the difficulties of defining and analyzing a process so complex as the populism or neo-populism is the bad image created around it, this concept was transformed, especially in the public discourse, in an insult use to qualified the enemy. We see a lot of people which in a simplifying process take only the negative parts of the populism and rejected totally, but also there is a small category of researchers which intended to take a closer and a more objective look at this reality. If the first category is extremely vocal and present both in the public or political space, as well as academic, the second is less visible, but so much more interesting and therefore we try to analyze further the thereof positions.

One of the best analyzes about the positives and negatives characteristics of populism was conducted by Philippe C. Schmitter, and I will present in extenso this analysis because it allows us to understand why the mermaid song of populism is so attractive to the European parties and political leaders.

For Schmitter,

“[…] populism is a political movement that seeks support beyond or ignoring the boundaries of dispute between the existing political parties and makes it focusing on the person of a leader who claims to be able to solve a set of problems previously considered impossible or undesirable to deal with”.[83]

Subsequently, Schmitter examines 14 characteristics of populism, points which are distributed as follows: 7 virtues and 7 vices, so we see that the vision of Philippe Schmitter about populism includes in an equal and equitable manner both advantages and disadvantages.

The first virtue would be that “Populisms weaken sclerotic partisan loyalties and simultaneously weaken closed party systems, forcing the entry of new political formations”. A second virtue that compete with the first in terms of importance, promotes the idea that “Populisms recruit persons who were previously apathetic citizens and mobilize them to participate in the electoral process”. Therefore, one of the great qualities of populist movements is that enlarges the electoral mass, which is certainly a great addition to any political movement and an additional merit for the populist ones. The following three virtues, in order of importance, present a positive image of these movements. Thus,

“[…] rising political issues ignored by the classical parties, populisms help to a fairer relocation of conflicts and expectations from the society; Populisms confronted "accepted" external constraints and put in discussion the existing dependencies and often exploitive of  foreign powers; Populisms replace party programs or the outdated and formal ideologies with a call based on the personality of leaders.”

In the same direction that places populist movements in a favorable light can enroll also the last two virtues, from a series of seven proposed, by Schmitter: Populisms exercise “decisions” replacing political impotence and increasing “politically possible” solutions area and Populisms need continuous popular ratification which makes them always be mindful of social needs.

Populism vices or defects are analyzed in direct antithesis to the seven virtues in order to see more clearly how complex can be the facets of the same phenomenon. The first vice grants a big minus to populisms by the fact that they undermine party loyalties and the ability to choose between competing partisan programs, without replacing them with alternative programs. The second flaw on the Schmitter’s list rejects the way of recruiting individuals: Populisms recruits misinformed persons who do not have consistent preferences and seek in politics rather 'the emotional' than program elements. Another criticism is that Populisms arouse expectations that cannot be met.

The last 4 vices fits perfectly the last four virtues listed above:

“Populisms use foreign powers as a scapegoat for domestic problems and weakened external links necessary for national security; directing attention from the people the Populisms introduce an chaotic and opportunistic element in politics; Populisms can lead to faster adoption of decisions, but their decisions tend to be poorly designed and do not take into account long-term effects” and not least and perhaps the most alarming “Populisms may be capable of altering the democratic mechanisms and to win the support of the military, so after that they cannot be peacefully removed from power”.[84]

For Schmitter most important point in characterizing populisms is obvious the seventh point, both on the vices column and that of virtue. If a populist democracy cannot be replaced, the other virtues become irrelevant. Therefore, populism is very different in countries with liberal democracy to the one which appeared in the nascent democracies. In stable democracies, the ones which are defied in the election keep a chance next time, and a populist is not able to handle military forces against opponents. Schmitter's provisional conclusion highlights the important role that it plays in liberal democracies populisms: “Populisms have a legitimate place in liberal democracies”. We could even say that in a probabilistic perspective there are inevitable given the nearly intrinsic dynamism of these regimes. They have their virtues as well as vices, and is not a law that automatically last prevail. To paraphrase James Madison, “any effort to exclude them from competition would be worse than the harm they could cause.”[85]

Philippe Schmitter expresses unequivocal his political creed: “I do not think that populism is a good thing, but I just say that populism is a normal reaction in a democracy, it happened also in the U.S.”.[86] Here is the first distinction between Schmitter and the specialists from the pessimistic wave: populism is a normal process and not a danger or a negative event which must be stopped at all costs. Schmitter certifies that the populism can take different forms, but take a constructive effort to establish constant so-called “generic forms”[87] of populist movements.

Another researcher of European space, Ivan Krastev shares almost the same opinion as Schmitter. He draws first of all a general expression of European populisms, emphasizing those particular cases which give a touch of specificity phenomenon in the context under discussion. According to Krastev the “populism” is often associated in current debates with an impressive speech, simplistic and manipulative, addressing “primary emotions” of people with opportunistic policies aimed at “buying” support. But appeal to people's emotions is banned in democratic politics? Or who decides which policies are “populist” and which are “reasonable”? As Ralf Dahrendorf observed “the populism of one’s is the democracy of the others and vice versa.” Thus, according to Ivan Krastev's view “the core challenge is represented by the rise of populist political parties and movements that appeal to "the people" to the detriment of the alleged representatives of the people, thus threatening the political parties, the interests and values​​ which are consolidated.”[88]

In essence, what defines populism is the idea that society is divided into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups “ordinary people” and “corrupt elite”. Thus, argues that political populism is the expression of the general will of the people and that social change is possible only through a radical change of elites.[89]

It is vicious, but true, that today, European elites secretly dreams to a scheme which will deprive the irresponsible voters of their power to undermine the rational politics and are more than willing to use the European Union to achieve this dream. At the same time, most people are convinced that they have the right to vote, but not the right to influence the decision making process, so they oppose the enlargement process of the European Union. The result is a politics in which the populists become manifest illiberal, while the elite secretly build an anti–democratic resentment. This is the real danger of populist moment. In the era of populism, the front is not between Right and Left, nor between reformers and conservatives. It can rather say that we are witnessing a structural conflict between elites who are increasingly distrustful of democracy and the public anger that is becoming increasingly anti-liberals. The fight against corruption, the "war against terrorism" and anti - Americanism are only three of the emergent new populist politics.[90]





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[1] Ghiță IONESCU, Ernest GELLNER (eds.) Populism. Its Meanings and National Characteristics, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969, p. 1

[2] Vladimir TISMĂNEANU, “Hypotheses on Populism: The Politics of Charismatic Protest”, East European Politics and Societies, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2000, p. 10.

[3] Alan KNIGHT, “Populism and Neo-populism in Latin America, especially Mexico”, Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 30, No. 2, May 1998, p. 225.

[4] Robert H. DIX, “Populism: Authoritarian and Democratic”, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1985, p. 29.

[5] Guy HERMET, Les populismes dans le monde. Une histoire sociologique XIX – XX siècle, Libraire Arthème Fayard, Paris, 2001, p. 19.

[6]Ivan KRASTEV, “Momentul populist”, CriticAtac, 13 of January 2011, avaible at [http://www.criticatac.ro/3817/momentul-populist/].

[7] Ghiță IONESCU, Ernest GELLNER (eds.) Populism…cit., p. 1.

[8] Guy HERMET, Les populismes dans le monde…cit., p. 18.

[9] Ivan KRASTEV, “Momentul populist…cit.”.

[10] Ernesto LACLAU, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory: Capitalism-Fascism-Populism, Humanities Press, London, 1977.

[11] Hans Jürgen PUHLE, “Populismo en América Latina”, Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. IX, No. 1, 1987, pp. 88-89.

[12] Alan KNIGHT, “Populism and Neo-populism…cit.”, p. 224.

[13] Ernesto LACLAU, Politics and Ideology… cit., p. 165.

[14] Alexandre DORNA, Le Populisme, PUF, Paris, 1999, p.  4.

[15] Edward SHILS, The Torment of Secrecy, Dee, Chicago, 1956, p. 98.

[16] Torcuato di TELLA, “Populism and Reform in Latin America”, in C. VELIZ (ed.), Obstacles to Change in Latin America, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1965, p. 47.

[17] Hlio JAGUARIBE, Problemas do desenvolvimento latinoamericano, Civilização Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro, 1967, p. 168.

[18] Alistair HENNESSY, “Latin America”, in Ghiță IONESCU, Ernest GELLNER (eds.) Populism. Its Meanings and National Characteristics., Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969, p. 29.

[19] Peter WILES, “A Syndrome, not a Doctrine: Some Elementary Theses on Populism” in Ghiță Ionescu,  Ernest GELLNER (eds.) Populism. Its Meanings and National Characteristics, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969, p. 162.

[20] Vladimir TISMĂNEANU, “Hypotheses on Populism….cit., p. 11.

[21] Mercedes GARCÍA MONTERO, “La década de Fujimori: ascenso, mantenimiento y caída de un líder antipolítico”, América Latina Hoy, No. 28, Salamanca, August 2001, p. 53.

[22] André TOURAINE, La parole et le sang, Jacob Odile, Paris, 1988, p. 117.

[23] Patricio NAVIA, “Partidos Políticos como Antídoto contra el Populismo en América Latina”, Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, 2003, p. 20.

[24] Kurt WEYLAND, “Neoliberal Populism in Latin America and Eastern Europe”, Comparative Politics, Vol. 31, No. 4, July 1999, p. 381.

[25] Răzvan Victor PANTELIMON, “Populism şi Neo-populism. Concept şi practici”, in Tendinţe Actuale în Filozofia Politică, Editura Institutului de Ştiinţe Politice şi Relaţii Internaţionale al Academiei Române, Bucureşti, 2006, p. 223.

[26] Alistair HENNESSY, “Latin Americacit.”, p. 30.

[27] Angus STEWART, “The Social Roots”, in Ghiță Ionescu,  Ernest Gellner (eds.), Populism. Its Meanings and National Characteristics, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969, pp. 180-181.

[28] Alexandre DORNA, Le Populisme…cit, p. 8.

[29] Pierre-André TAGUIEFF, “Le populisme et la science politique du mirage conceptuel aux vrais problèmes”, Vingtième Siècle, No. 56, Oct.-Dec. 1997, p. 10.

[30] Vladimir TISMĂNEANU, “Hypotheses on Populism…. cit., p. 14.

[31] Peter WILES, “A Syndrome, not a Doctrine…cit.”, pp. 167-171.

[32] Mercedes GARCÍA MONTERO, “La década de Fujimoricit.”, p. 54.

[33] See Alexandre Dorna DORNA, Le Populisme…cit,; Alexandre DORNA, Le Neopopulisme et le charisme, Text, colloque – Université de Grenoble: La tentation populiste, September 2001; Alexandre DORNA, La democracia: un espejismo?, Lumen, Buenos Aires-Mexico, 2003; Alexandre Dorna, “Quand la démocratie s’assoit sur de volcans: l’émergence des populismes charismatiques”, @mnis Revue de Civilisation Contemporaine de l’Université de Bretagne Occidentale, No. 5, Caen, 2005.

[34] See Alexandre DORNA, Le Populisme…cit.

[35] Hans Jürgen PUHLE, “Populismo en América Latina…cit”, p. 88.

[36] Vladimir TISMĂNEANU,  “Hypotheses on Populism…. cit.”, p. 12.

[37] Patricio NAVIA, “Partidos Políticos como Antídoto… cit.”, p. 26.

[38] Angus STEWART, “The Social Roots…cit.”, p. 192.

[39] Guy HERMET, Les populismes dans le monde… cit., p. 82.

[40] Robert H. DIX, “Populism: Authoritarian and Democratic”, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1985, p. 40.

[41] See Alexandre DORNA, Le Populisme…cit.

[42] Marcos NOVARO, “Los populismos latinoamericanos transfigurados”, Nueva Sociedad, No. 144, July-Aug. 1996, p. 7.

[43] See note 9 and 10.

[44] Alexandre DORNA, “Faut-il avoir peur du populisme ?”, Le Monde diplomatique, November 2003, available at [http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2003/11/DORNA/10680].

[45] Mercedes GARCÍA MONTERO, “La década de Fujimoricit.”, p. 52.

[46] Ibidem, p. 55.

[47] René MAYORGA, Antipolitica y Neopopulismo, Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinarios, La Paz, 1995, pp. 17-20.

[48] Fernando MAYORGA, “Neopopulismo y democracia en Bolivia”, Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, 2003, p. 99.

[49] Guy HERMET, Les populismes dans le monde… cit, p. 147.

[50] Carina PERELLI, “La personalización de la política. Nuevos caudillos, ‘outsiders’, política mediática y política informal” in Carina PERELLÓ, Sonia PICADO and Daniel ZOVATTO (eds.), Partidos y clase política en América Latina en los 90, IIDH-CAPEL, San José, 1995, p .192.

[51] Kurt WEYLAND, “Neoliberal Populismcit.”, p. 384.

[52] For an analysis of the two concepts and their appliance at the Romanian case, see: Răzvan Victor PANTELIMON, “Partidele au murit, trăiască partidele! Apariţia partidului-cartel în România”, Studia Politica. Revista Română de Ştiinţă Politică, Vol. VI, No. 2, 2006, Bucureşti, pp. 403-449.

[53] Rosaly RAMIREZ ROA, “La política extraviada en la Venezuela de los años 90: entre rigidez institucional y neo-populismo”, Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, 2003, p. 142.

[54] Mercedes GARCÍA MONTERO, “La década de Fujimoricit., p. 58.

[55] Harry, E. VADEN, Gary PREVOST, Politics of Latin America, Oxford University Press, New York & Oxford, 2006, p. 310.

[56] Alexandre DORNA, “Quand la démocratie s’assoit sur de volcans…cit.”, p. 12.

[57] Ibidem, p. 13.

[58] Gulliermo O’DONNELL, “Democracia delegativa?”, Cuadernos de CLAEH, Issue 17, No. 61, Montevideo, 1992, p. 17.

[59] Marcos NOVARO, “Los populismos latinoamericano…cit.”, p. 8.

[60]Alexandre DORNA, Liderul carismatic,  Corint, Bucureşti, 2004, p. 58.

[61] Ibidem, pp. 58-59.

[62] Diana BURGOS-VIGNA, “Alberto Fujimori: le populisme de l’efficacité”, @mnis Revue de Civilisation Contemporaine de l’Université de Bretagne Occidentale, No. 5, Caen, 2005, p. 2.

[63] Ibidem, p. 6.

[64] Alexandre DORNA, “Faut-il avoir peur du populisme?...cit.”.

[65] Ibidem.

[66] René MAYORGA, Antipolitica y Neopopulismo...cit., pp. 17-20.

[67] Marcos NOVARO, “Los populismos latinoamericano…cit., p. 15.

[68] Fernando MAYORGA, “Neopopulismo y democraciacit.”, p. 104.

[69] Michael L. CONNIF, “Neo-populismo en América Latina. La década de los 90 y después”, Revista de Ciencia Política, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, 2003, p. 32.

[70] Alexandre DORNA, “Quand la démocratie s’assoit sur de volcans…cit.”, pp. 15-23.

[71] Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MIȘCOIU, Sorina SOARE (eds.), Populismul contemporan, Ed. Institutul European, Iași, 2012.

[72] Sergiu MIȘCOIU, “De la populism la neopopulism? Câteva repere empirice pentru o delimitare conceptuală” in Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MIȘCOIU, Sorina SOARE (eds.), Populismul contemporan…cit., pp. 25-43.

[73] Ibidem, p. 28.

[74] Italy is one of the famous cases of neo-populism, the presence of this phenomenon in the actuality is a constant of Silvio Berlusconi politics. For a more detailed analysis which prove without any doubt the populist character of the Il Cavaliere see Marco Tarchi, “Italia: tărâmul populismelor” in Sergiu GHERGHINA, Sergiu MIȘCOIU, Sorina SOARE (editori), Populismul contemporan…cit., pp. 375-400.

[75] Sergiu MIȘCOIU, “De la populism la neopopulism?... cit.”, pp. 29-30.

[76] Ibidem, p. 31.

[77] Ibidem, p. 33.

[78] Ibidem, p. 35.

[79] Ibidem, p. 36.

[80] Ibidem, p. 37-40.

[81] Ibidem, p. 41.

[82] Bela GRESKOVITS, The Political Economy of Protest and Patience. East European and Latin American Transformations Compared, CEU Press, Budapest, 1998, apud Cas Mudde, “Populism in Eastern Europe”, East European Perspectives Vol. II, No. 8, March 2000, available at [http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1342548.html].

[83] Philippe C. SCHMITTER, “Un bilanţ al viciilor şi virtuţilor populismelor europene”, Dilema Veche, on-line edition, No. 180, 23 of July 2007 – [http://www.dilemaveche.ro/sectiune/la-portile-occidentului/articol/un-bilant-al-viciilor-si-virtutilor-populismelor-europene].

[84] Ibidem.

[85] Ibidem.

[86] Cristian GHINEA, interviu cu Schmitter C. Philippe, “Nu ai nevoie de revoluţie, de asasinat, poţi folosi regulile democratice”, Dilema veche, electronic edition, No. 180, 23 July 2007, available at: http://www.dilemaveche.ro/sectiune/la-portile-occidentului/articol/inu-ai-nevoie-de-revolutie-de-asasinat-poti-folosi-regulile-democraticei.

[87] Ibidem.

[88] Ivan KRASTEV, “Momentul populist… cit”.

[89] Ibidem.

[90] Ibidem.