Populists in Parliament. The Parliamentary Practices and Performance of Populist Parties

Open Panel

The rise of populism has spurred the parliamentary representation of populist parties in both established and new democracies. While (a) old parties of a populist brand have retained or regained parliamentary seats, (b) new populist parties have entered the political and legislative arena. Beyond this, (c) a few mainstream “traditional” parties adopted populist rhetoric and style. Our knowledge, especially of the populist parliamentary party groups (PPPGs) in categories (b) and (c) is somewhat limited.
How visible are PPPGs around the globe? What political tactics, strategies, and styles do they use in different parliaments? Which agenda do they follow and which audiences do they address? Is their approach to (parliamentary) politics instrumental, ideological or technocratic? How do they interact with other parliamentary parties, and what is their impact on the inner-parliamentary political culture, legislative procedures, and decision-making? Do populist parties change in parliament and if so, in which direction (moderation/radicalization)?
The proposed panel will shed light on the parliamentary behaviour of populist parties and their party groups, covering both PPPGs of populist parties in government and opposition. Among the topics to be discussed in the panel are
- anti-establishment: how (new) PPPGs define and practice their role in parliament vis-à-vis established parties,
- moderation/radicalization: do PPPGs become more moderate in parliament or radicalize (e.g., through provocations and confrontational politics),
- comparative perspective: variation of PPPGs strategies, styles, and impact over time and cross-country differences..
Contributions are invited from both junior and senior scholars and may involve a qualitative, quantitative, or a mixed-methods design. Paper proposals by scholars from the Global South are particularly welcome as are comparative papers.