TD: Jahrgang 8, Heft 2011, 2, Seite 251–271
Abstract / Volltext
Es folgt die Zusammenfassung in englischer Sprache following the article short description
Both in public opinion and the realm of the social sciences a common definition of populism is absent. The concept of populism has been used to refer to such a variety of phenomena, that it is more than problematical for undertaking comparative analysis. In this paper I discuss different methodological approaches to define populism and I argue that a minimal concept of populism is the most fruitful approach to develop a comparative research agenda. To show this, I compare the minimal definitions developed by Kurt Weyland (populism as a political strategy) and Cas Mudde (populism as a thin-centered ideology). Moreover, I explain why Mudde’s definition should be the starting point for a comparative research agenda on populism. To conclude, I show that this minimal definition is helpful for analyzing the ambivalent relationship between populism and democracy.