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Was ist Populismus?: Ein Essay (edition…
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Was ist Populismus?: Ein Essay (edition suhrkamp) (edition 2016)

by Jan-Werner Müller (Autor)

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1806117,378 (3.57)None
Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chávez--populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing. In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner Müller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. Müller also shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of their claim to exclusive moral representation of the people: if populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper "people." The book proposes a number of concrete strategies for how liberal democrats should best deal with populists and, in particular, how to counter their claims to speak exclusively for "the silent majority" or "the real people." Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time.… (more)
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Title:Was ist Populismus?: Ein Essay (edition suhrkamp)
Authors:Jan-Werner Müller (Autor)
Info:Suhrkamp Verlag (2016), Edition: 6, 160 pages
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What Is Populism? by Jan-Werner Müller

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This may be called an excellent primer to populism. Abd, this is the third time I have read this book!

For many of us, who call leaders populist, in our daily speech, there has never been a clear definition, or guideline, to defining what it is. This book provides this. It is a short book, and this makes it even more valuable, in my eyes, as there is little space wasted. Too often, people will write a long book because it is a good thing to do, and this then creates a lot of matter that obscures the subject.

Jan-Werner Muller avoids this trap and goes to the heart of the subject.

Could he have analysed more? I would say yes. For instance, what sort of populist would Bernie Sanders make, versus Trump. However, I assume that this was not the subject of the book.

I can clearly see parallels in the India of today.

So, overall, an excellent book. ( )
  RajivC | May 6, 2021 |
A wonderful book about this modern political phenomenon. The author argues that the core claim of populism is moralized antipluralism. A populist leader claims to be a spokesperson for the common people, but all who disagree are excluded from that group. The author explains clearly why support for populism should not be mischaracterized as mere stupidity, and also how, if they gain control, populists can abuse their powers without being exposed as frauds in the eyes of their supporters. He also maintains that other parties should engage with populists, not exclude them. It would have been good to discuss this in a bit more detail and cite a few examples. Nevertheless, it is a rare book which provides this much political wisdom in just over 100 pages, even more so when that wisdom finds immediate application in real-world events. You will certainly be able to debate politics better after reading this book, though maybe not with populists.
1 vote thcson | Apr 28, 2019 |
This may be called an excellent primer to populism.

For many of us, who call leaders populist, in our daily speech, there has never been a clear definition, or guideline, to defining what it is. This book provides this. It is a short book, and this makes it even more valuable, in my eyes, as there is very little space wasted. Too often, people will write a long book because it seems to be a good thing to do, and this then creates a lot of matter that obscures the subject.

Jan-Werner Muller avoids this trap, and goes to the heart of the subject.

Could he have analysed more? I would say yes. For instance, what sort of populist would Bernie Sanders make, versus Trump. However, I assume that this was not the subject of the book.

So, all in all, an excellent book. ( )
  RajivC | Apr 1, 2018 |
My original What Is Populism? audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

What is Populism is a well-argued opinion that presents the theory of populism and its connection to pluralism. The argument is supported through the use of world history, both past and recent, as well as the misconceptions held by society – specifically voters (aka “The People”). This audiobook was well written, presented the argument well and was supported by facts although also vague about some aspects. Drawing upon the recent Presidential campaigns, Jan-Werner Muller demonstrates how populists claim to identify with the people and rejects everyone else. Ultimately, this is a political theory that is well supported but not necessarily for everyone.

The narrator, Simon Vance performed the audiobook well, he was clear and concise in his performance. His voice was steady and strong; there were no indications of whether he supported the book’s theories or not, he was very professional.

There were no issues with the audio quality or production of this book.

Please note, that as a listener of audiobooks I enjoy fiction and some non-fiction books. While this was not an audiobook I would normally have agreed to listen to, I did find it interesting and informative.

Audiobook was purchased for review by the publisher. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jul 20, 2017 |
Days after the US elections of 2016, while still in shock at the presidential result, I started to wonder what all this "populist" talk might portend. I had heard the term quite a bit in the previous months but felt I still didn't have a good grasp either of its meaning nor its history as a party, movement, whatever. There were a number of books out and I chose Muller's because of some good reviews and its brevity - about 90 pages, and perhaps 20 of those were notes. After reading the first dozen pages or so I knew I had made a mistake. It's in what I would call academic-speak and I detest academic speak. I checked a brief bio - sure enough, Muller was listed as a politics professor at a major Ivy League uni.

Reading this book reminded me of college courses I took to complete some last semester requirements - you know the ones, word of mouth had it that there was no paper to write, no midterm, an easy A, only a one question essay final exam, but lots of boring lectures and you HAD to go.

I only wanted to learn some basic stuff - how come populism doesn't seem to last very long?, was Hitler a populist? what can we expect from our new administration? is our new President a real populist or a FAKE populist? Instead I got words like pluralism, antipluralist, liberalism, individualism, materialism, atheism, majoritarinaism, constitutionalism,elitism, and ochlocracy. Yes, "ochlocracy", I hadn't heard that word for at least a week. ( )
  maneekuhi | Mar 30, 2017 |
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En guise d’ouverture :
Qui, au juste, n’est pas populiste ?

Des populistes, partout où le regard se pose : en 2015, une coalition de populistes de gauche et de droite grecs a tenu en haleine non seulement la Grèce, mais l’Europe entière ; en Espagne, où le système partisan qui succéda au franquisme est désormais réduit à néant, les populistes ont le vent en poupe ; en France, le Front national est depuis longtemps déjà partie intégrante du système politique (son fondateur, Jean-Marie Le Pen, était il y a soixante ans sur les bancs du Parlement français), et même si Marine Le Pen ne devait pas remporter les présidentielles de 2017, le Front national gagne toujours plus en influence : Nicolas Sarkozy, par exemple, fait actuellement figure de « Le Pen light ». [...]
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Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chávez--populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing. In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner Müller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. Müller also shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, populists can govern on the basis of their claim to exclusive moral representation of the people: if populists have enough power, they will end up creating an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper "people." The book proposes a number of concrete strategies for how liberal democrats should best deal with populists and, in particular, how to counter their claims to speak exclusively for "the silent majority" or "the real people." Analytical, accessible, and provocative, What Is Populism? is grounded in history and draws on examples from Latin America, Europe, and the United States to define the characteristics of populism and the deeper causes of its electoral successes in our time.

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