Political Science

Rethinking Populism(SP427)

Course Code Course Name Semester Theory Practice Lab Credit ECTS
SP427 Rethinking Populism 5 3 0 0 3 5
Admission Requirements
Language of Instruction French
Course Type Elective
Course Level Bachelor Degree
Course Instructor(s) Cemil YILDIZCAN cemilyildizcan@gmail.com (Email)
Objective The course aims to provide an in-depth critical study of populist practices and transformations in contemporary societies using various theoretical approaches and models that develop different points of view and analytical tools, with particular emphasis on the transformation of representative and party systems.
Content This course proposes an analysis of populism as an equivocal-polysemic phenomenon. Populism is often used in social science studies with different meanings to describe an ideology, a strategy, a style, a political form or a type of discourse. In addition, there is the frequent use of the term by political actors and the media of all categories which can be often inappropriate regarding the situation. The polysemous over-use of this term then causes a conceptual ambiguity, which constitutes an obstacle to seize the socio-political transformations in the contemporary world.
To avoid any ambiguity, or even error, we will try, in this course, to define the contours of debates on populism as much as possible by focusing in particular on the origin and the results of what we can call “populist transformations” in contemporary political systems.
After an effort to define the term “populism”, we will introduce the classical and new approaches to the subject that will lead us to an inquiry on the relationship between populism and representative democracy. In this context, we will propose a discussion on transformations of participative and representative mechanisms, in particular through populist challenges on mainstream political parties. We will conclude on the evolution of voting attitudes and mechanisms of political participation that respond to populist rhetoric while feeding it in return.
The course content will be enriched by the presentation of case studies and the intervention of invited specialists.
Course Learning Outcomes The student who has followed and passed this course is able to:

1) identify the notion of populism,
2) discern the different theories that study the different aspects of populism,
3) master the tools useful to analyse the populist phenomenon,
4) explore the conditions of emergence of populism and the relations between populism and representative democracy,
5) analyze the transformation of contemporary political systems,
6) understand the logic of power relations through the structure of political representation,
7) analyze and classify populist parties according to their ideology and organization,
8) apply the conceptual analysis of populism to contemporary world case studies in a comparative perspective,
9) analyze and evaluate the impact of populist challenges on traditional parties and representative democracy in different contexts,
10) analyze and critically evaluate the success or failure of populism in government,
11) identify and explain the characteristics of populist leadership and rhetoric.
Teaching and Learning Methods The course will combine lectures and discussions on weekly readings. Both of these elements require a constant presence of students as well as the reading of the recommended texts. The indications on the texts to be read and the distribution of the responsibilities (summary notes, presentations, organization of the debates) will be given every week in class.
References Abts, Koen et Rummens, Stefan, « Populism versus Democracy », Political Studies, vol. 55, 2007, pp. 405-424.

Acemoglu, Daron, Georgy Egorov et Konstantin Sonin, « A political theory of populism », The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(2), 2013, pp. 771-805.

Albertazzi, Daniele et McDonnell, Duncan, « Introduction : The Sceptre and the Spectre », Twenty-First Century Populism, The Spectre of Western European Democracy, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 1-15.

Alston, Philip, The Populist Challenge to Human Rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 9(1), 2017, pp. 1-15.

Aslanidis, Paris, « Is populism an ideology ? A refutation and a new perspective », Political Studies, 64(1S), 2016, pp. 88-104.

Bale, Tim., Van Kessel, Stijn., & Taggart, Paul, "Thrown around with abandon? Popular understandings of populism as conveyed by the print media: A UK case study," Acta Politica, 46(2), 2011, pp. 111-131.

Betz, Hans-Georg, "Exclusionary Populism in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland", International Journal, 56(3), pp. 393-420.

Canovan, Margaret, Populism, London : Junctions Books, 1982.

Canovan, Margeret, « Trust the People ! Populism and the Two Faces of Democracy », Political Studies, XLVII, 1999, pp. 2-16.

Canovan, Margaret, « Taking Politics to the People : Populism as the Ideology of Democracy », in Y. Mény and Y. Surel (Eds), Democracies and the Populist Challenge, New York : Palgrave, 2002, pp. 25-44.

Collier, Ruth Berins & Collier, David, Shaping the Political Arena: Critical Junctures, the Labor Movement, and Regime Analysis in Latin America, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002.

Donovan, Todd et Jeffrey A. Karp, « Popular support for direct democracy », Party politics, 12 (5), 2006, pp. 671-688.

Dornbusch, Rudiger, & Edwards, Sebastian, "Macroeconomic populism", Journal of Development Economics, 32(2), 1990, pp. 247-277.

Hall, Stuart, « Le populisme autoritaire : réponse à Jessop et al. », in Stuart Hall (ed), Le populisme autoritaire, Paris : Editions Amsterdam, pp. 157-173.

Jagers, Jan et Stefaan Walgrave, « Populism as political communication style : An empirical study of political parties' discourse in Belgium », European Journal of Political Research, 46(3), 2007, pp. 319-345.

Jessop, Bob, et al., « Le populisme autoritaire. Les deux nations et le thatchérisme », in Stuart Hall (Ed.), Le populisme autoritaire, Paris : Editions Amsterdam, pp. 101-156.

Ionescu, Ghita et Gellner, Ernest, Populism : Its meanings and national characteristics, London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970.

Jansen, Robert S. « Populist mobilization : A new theoretical approach to populism », Sociological Theory, 29(2), 2011, pp. 75-96.

Katz, Richard S. et Mair, Peter, « Changing Models of Party Organization and Party Democracy : The Emergence of the Cartel Party », Party Politics, vol. 1, no. 5, 1995 (disponible aussi en français).

Katz, Richard S. et Mair, Peter, « The Cartel Party Thesis. A Restatement », Perspectives on Politics, vol. 7, no. 4, 2009, pp. 753-766

Laclau, Ernesto, La Raison Populiste, Paris : Editions du Seuil, 2008.

Mair, Peter, « Populist Democracy vs. Party Democracy », in Y. Mény and Y. Surel (Eds), Democracies and the Populist Challenge, New York : Palgrave, 2002, pp. 81-98.

Mastropaolo, Alfio, « Politics against Democracy : Party Withdrawal and Populist Breakthrough », in D. Albertazzi et D. McDonnell (Eds) Twenty-First Century Populism, The Spectre of Western European Democracy, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 30-48.

Moffitt, Benjamin, et Simon Tormey, « Rethinking populism : Politics, mediatisation and political style », Political Studies, 62(2), 2014, pp. 381-397.

Mudde, Cas, « The populist zeitgeist », Government and opposition, 39(4), 2004, pp. 541-563.

Mudde, Cas, Rovira Kaltwasser, Cristobal, Exclusionary vs. inclusionary populism: Comparing contemporary Europe and Latin America, Government and Opposition, 48(2), 2013, pp. 147-174.

Mudde, C., & Rovira Kaltwasser, C., "Populism and (liberal) democracy: a framework for analysis", In Mudde, C., & Rovira Kaltwasser, C. (eds.), Populism in Europe and the Americas: Threat or corrective for democracy?, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 1-26.

Méni, Yves ; Surel, Yves « The Constitutive Ambiguity of Populism », in Y. Mény and Y. Surel (Eds), Democracies and the Populist Challenge, New York : Palgrave, 2002

Pasquino, Gianfranco, « Populism and Democracy » in D. Albertazzi et D. McDonnell (Eds), Twenty-First Century Populism, The Spectre of Western European Democracy, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pp. 15-29.

Pratt, John, Penal populism, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2007.

Rodrik, Dani, Populism and the Economics of Globalisation. NBER Working Paper No. 23559, Cambridge MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.

Rosanvallon, Pierre, Counter-democracy : Politics in an Age of Distrust, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 249-318.

Rydgren, Jens, "Is extreme right-wing populism contagious? Explaining the emergence of a new party family", European Journal of Political Research, 44(3), 2005, pp. 413-437.

Salas, Denis, La Volonté de punir. Essai sur le populisme pénal, Paris, Fayard, coll. « Pluriel », 2010.

Soare, Sorina, & Stambazzi, Moreno, "Y-at-il quelque chose de pourri dans la démocratie contemporaine? La vision des populismes contemporains (France et Italie)", Studia Politica: Romanian Political Science Review, 17(4), 2017, pp. 575-608.

Taggart, Paul, « Populism and Representative Politics in Contemporary Europe », Journal of Political Ideologies, vol. 9, no. 3, 2004, pp. 269-288.

Taggart, Paul, « New populist parties in Western Europe », West European Politics, 18(1)1995, pp. 34-51.

Taguieff, Pierre-André, « Le populisme et la science politique : du mirage conceptuel aux vrais problèmes », Vingtième siècle. Revue d’histoire, no. 56, 1997, pp. 4-33.

Ucen, Peter, « Parties, populism, and anti-establishment politics in East Central Europe », SAIS Review of International Affairs, 27(1), 2007, pp. 49-62.

Arditi, Benjamin, Politics on the Edges of Liberalism : Difference, Populism, Revolution, Agitation, Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Bora Tanıl et Erdoğan, Necmi, « ‘Biz, Anadolu’nun Bağrı Yanık Çocukları’. Muhafazakâr Popu¨lizm », in Ahmet Çiğdem (Ed.), Modern Tu¨rkiye’de Siyasî Du¨su¨nce -Muhafazakârlık, vol. 5, İstanbul : İletişim Yayınları, 2003, pp.632- 645.

Canovan, Margaret « Two Strategies for the Study of Populism », Political Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, 1982, pp. 544-552.

Canovan, Margaret, « Populism for political theorists ? », Journal of Political Ideologies, 9(3), October 2004, pp. 241-252.

Dix, Robert H., « Populism : Authoritarian and Democratic », Latin American Research Review, vol. 20, no. 2, 1985, pp. 29-52.

Hall, Stuart, et al., Policing the Crisis : Mugging, the State, and Law and Order, New York : Palgrave MacMillan, 2002.

Laclau, Ernesto, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory : Capitalism, Fascism, Populism, London : NLB, 1977.

Mény, Yves, et Yves Surel, Par le peuple, pour le peuple : le populisme et les démocraties, Paris : Fayard, 2000.

Rooduijn, Matthijs, Sarah L. De Lange, et Wouter Van der Brug, « A populist Zeitgeist ? Programmatic contagion by populist parties in Western Europe », Party Politics 20(4), 2014, pp. 563-575.

Weyland, K., "Clarifying a contested concept: Populism in the study of Latin American politics", Comparative Politics, 34(1), 2001, pp. 1-22.
Print the course contents
Theory Topics
Week Weekly Contents
1 Introduction: presentation of the course and position of the problems. Methodological issues ın the study of populism in political science
2 What is populism? The general characteristics of populism
3 Brief overview of the main theories and debates on populism. Critical review of the literature on populism
4 Populism and democracy: A pathology, a symptom or a new form of politics?
5 The transformation of state-party-society relations. The “cartelization” of political parties in the post-1989 era
6 The rise of anti-system parties. Can we speak of “populist parties”?
7 Mid-term exam
8 The transformation of socio-political cleavages. Is populism “on the left” or “on the right”?
9 The rise of populism in Europe. Antoine Vitkine's documentary (Roche Roche Production, Arte France): “Populisme, l’Europe en danger”
10 The new authoritarian “democracies” Authoritarian Populism(s)
11 Case studies
12 Case studies
13 New dynamics of political participation. Is the “populist” vote “popular”?
14 The magic of the call to the people: the anatomy of a “populist” discourse
Practice Topics
Week Weekly Contents
Contribution to Overall Grade
  Number Contribution
Contribution of in-term studies to overall grade 3 60
Contribution of final exam to overall grade 1 40
Toplam 4 100
In-Term Studies
  Number Contribution
Assignments 0 0
Presentation 1 20
Midterm Examinations (including preparation) 1 30
Project 0 0
Laboratory 0 0
Other Applications 0 0
Quiz 0 0
Term Paper/ Project 0 0
Portfolio Study 0 0
Reports 0 0
Learning Diary 0 0
Thesis/ Project 0 0
Seminar 0 0
Other 1 10
Toplam 3 60
No Program Learning Outcomes Contribution
1 2 3 4 5
1 Understanding the major theories, concepts, foundations, and methodologies used in the study of politics. X
2 Identifying the structure and operation of the political system in Turkey and other political systems in the world. X
3 Identifying and gathering information from credible primary and secondary sources; analyzing and synthesizing the acquired knowledge. X
4 Generating and testing empirically hypotheses about political processes, institutions, mechanisms and relationships. X
5 Designing, conducting and interpreting the results of original research in accordance with the scientific and ethical principles by using basic research methods. X
6 Showing awareness and sensivity towards issues related to democracy, human rights and social peace. X
7 Appraising the sources of societal conflict and how they can be resolved by political means. X
8 Examining critically the nature of change in the global political community, and the complex character of processes such as globalization. X
9 Taking a role in a teamwork in political science and general fields of other related disciplines. X
10 Following publications in foreign languages and communicating with the colleagues in the international environment by using French which is the language of education in Galatasaray University and English, the compulsory foreign language. X
11 Using required level of information and communication technologies. X
Activities Number Period Total Workload
Class Hours 0 0 0
Working Hours out of Class 0 0 0
Assignments 0 0 0
Presentation 0 0 0
Midterm Examinations (including preparation) 0 0 0
Project 0 0 0
Laboratory 0 0 0
Other Applications 0 0 0
Final Examinations (including preparation) 0 0 0
Quiz 0 0 0
Term Paper/ Project 0 0 0
Portfolio Study 0 0 0
Reports 0 0 0
Learning Diary 0 0 0
Thesis/ Project 0 0 0
Seminar 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
Total Workload 0
Total Workload / 25 0,00
Credits ECTS 0
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