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(RC06) Political sociology
RC06 — The Concept of Populism in the Analysis of Political Phenomena: From Latin America to Europe
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The Representative Potential of New Populist Parties: The Case of Podemos and Beyond
New parties have traditionally displayed thin organizational structures and weak links to civil society. Yet the incapacity of mainstream parties to provide representative mechanisms has increased the mobilization potential of new parties, especially with regard to specific groups of voters (e.g. young, unemployed, women, etc.). Moreover, the economic and political crisis has strengthened political dissatisfaction and disaffection. To what extent are populist parties able to represent new claims from society and to appeal to dissatisfied citizens? Is the legacy of the original model important in shaping their ties to distinct sectors? More generally, what are the means used by populist parties to establish linkages to civil society? These are the main questions that the paper will address. The case of Podemos will be used to examine whether new populist parties are challenging the trend towards an increasing distance between parties and civil society. Drawing on different sources (surveys, interviews, party documents), this paper focuses on three main dimensions. The first is the profile of its electoral basis, the second deals with the organizational structure, while the third is related to mobilization strategies. The lessons of Podemos will allow us to discuss similar cases from contemporary democracies, thus strengthening our findings and generating more robust evidence about the importance of party-society linkages in fostering electoral performance and diminishing the democratic deficit.
Marco Lisi
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
International Political Science Association and Secretariat Partners :
UNESCO ISSC Concordia University Montréal International IAPSS