Populism Will Be Long Lasting

Fishman L.G.,

Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), leading researcher, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Branch, lfishman@yandex.ru

elibrary_id: 251983 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.03.04
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Fishman L.G. Populism Will Be Long Lasting. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No 3. P. 55-70 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.03.04


The article investigates the phenomenon of contemporary populism. The author draws attention to the contradictions accompanying the attempts of its conceptualization. He describes populism as a phenomenon that is completely ineradicable, though marginal and fading when the situation normalizes. At the same time, the description of the modernity in categories of post-policy, a postmodern, post-democracy, post-ideology, etc. leads us to the fact that populism begins to remind a systemically important phenomenon of modern political field. In order to achieve less contradictory conceptualization of the phenomenon of populism, the author proposes to study it in the context of the second and third Great Transformation of capitalism. Many experts claim populism to be the quintessence of consensus regarding the need for state regulation, characteristic for all the major ideologies of an era of the second Great Transformation. It remains considerably the same in the period of the third Great Transformation we are witnessing now. Since current problems cannot be solved “in natural way,” there are objective prerequisites for the approach of a new era of social reformation. Traditional left-wing as well as traditional right-wing forces are in crisis, yielding initiative to the regulatory policy of neoliberals. However, the right- and left-wing populists are substituting them. Therefore, during the ongoing Great Transformation, the influence of populism will grow, as it is actually already happening now. People will place high expectations on populism, such as the usual expectations of the regulation and the expectations of social experiments aimed to make social organization of modern societies more appropriate and enrich it. These expectations will be satisfied to the extent that populism would be able to implement the underlying in its nature democratic desire of the “nation” to gain control over their own destiny. Otherwise, both right and left populist political activities will reduce to contest for a rent, characteristic of an era of “cognitive capitalism,” when, for example, the very existence of permanent job is already a privilege, providing a rent in the form of wages. 

populism; capitalism; rent; Great Transformation; post-democracy; government regulation; neoliberalism.

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Content No 3, 2017

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