h ar ry c. b o y te Introduction: Populism and the Politics of Civic Agency In recent years, “populism” has been claimed by left and right alike. According to the late David Broder of e Th Washington , Sa Pora sth Palin issued “a pitch-perfect recital of the populist m P esr sog age r.es ” sives con- test the label. “To rebuild its coalition, the left must return to its populist roots,” argues Eric Alterman in e N Th ew York Tim E.J es. . Dionne, noting the “kaleidoscope of populisms,” calls for “a new seriousness about what Populism meant for our past and means for our present” in Our Divided Political Hea . r Thit s symposium answers Dionne’s call. Populism has two dimensions. One involves the language of change. Populist movements are culturally based, not structurally based. “e Th people” is not historically indeterminate, but it is a different category than “class” or “interest groups,” a different idiom than the charts and statistics that dominate in conventional social science, and a different politics than election campaigns with poll-tested sound bites. Populism challenges not only concentrations of wealth and power, but also the culturally uprooted, individualized,
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 3, 2012
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