Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Creating Political PresenceThe New Politics of Democratic Representation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dario Castiglione and Johannes Pollak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226588360

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226588674.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2020

Populist Twist

Populist Twist

The Relationship between the Leader and the People in Populism

(p.110) Chapter Five Populist Twist
Creating Political Presence

Paula Diehl

University of Chicago Press

Populism establishes a particular relationship between leaders and followers, twisting democratic representation. This chapter analyses the kind of link that populist rhetoric tries to establish between the leader and the people and suggests that this is the key element for understanding the way in which populist discourse challenges democratic representation. Democratic representation generates several tensions between the representatives and the represented. One such tension is between processes of authorization and accountability within democratic representation; a second one is between the vertical nature of the relationship characterizing leadership, and the horizontal character of the principle of democratic equality. Populist rhetoric emphasizes both horizontal equality amongst the people, whose presence they constantly evoke in their politics, and the more vertical and hierarchical relationship between the leader and the masses, whose characteristics and passions are often embodied and symbolically represented in the leader. The chapter discusses how populist leaders deal with such tensions and the way in which they twist representation. In particular, the identitarian link that populism establishes between the leader and his/her followers has a worrying anti-democratic character, it threatens democracy’s central features of transparency and control, thus disempowering citizens.

Keywords:   populism, leadership, identification

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.