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A Pandemic of Populists

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Over the last decade, the world has watched in shock as populists swept to power in free elections. From Manila to Warsaw, Brasilia to Budapest, the populist tide has shattered illusions of an inexorable march to liberal democracy. Eschewing simplistic notions of a unified global populism, this book unpacks the diversity and plurality of populisms. It highlights the variety of constitutional and extraconstitutional strategies that populists have used to undermine the institutional fabric of liberal democracy and investigates how ruling populists responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Outlining the rise of populisms and their governing styles, Wojciech Sadurski focuses on what populists in power do, rather than what they say. Confronting one of the most pressing concerns of international politics, this book offers a vibrant, contemporary account of modern populisms and, significantly, considers what we can do to fight back.

  • Accessibly describes both the academic theory of populism and contemporary examples of populists in power
  • Draws upon cases from Central Europe, Latin America and Asia, showing the varieties of populisms in different countries and also highlighting their commonalities
  • Establishes coherent standards for understanding both the rhetorical and institutional dimensions of populism in power, demonstrating how populists dismantle the constraints of power without dismantling democratic institutions
Author: Sadurski Wojciech
Pages: 258
ISBN: 9781009224536
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2022

1. Why populisms?
2. The war on institutions
3. Constitutions: breaches, abuses, and literal democracy
4. Courts: the least resilient branch
5. Paranoia
6. Democracy diseased: populism in the time of Covid
7. Antidotes, remedies, and miracles
Annex: country selection explanation.

Wojciech Sadurski is Challis Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney and Professor of the Centre for Europe at the University of Warsaw; formerly Professor and Head of Department of Law at the European University Institute in Florence. He is author of several books, most recently Poland's Constitutional Breakdown (2019) and Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe (2012). He regularly teaches, as visiting professor, in top universities around the world, including at Yale and New York Universities.

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