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Zeitschrift Jahrgang 8, Heft 2011, 2

Populismus, Konzepte und Theorien / Populism: Concepts and Theories

Einführung Editorial


Aufsätze / Articles

Vorländer, Hans:
The good, the bad, and the ugly. Über das Verhältnis von Populismus und Demokratie – Eine Skizze (S. 187–194)

Volltext

Die Politikwissenschaft hat den Populismus bis heute weder konzeptuell noch begrifflich fassen können – und auch sein Verhältnis zur Demokratie gilt als ungeklärt. Der Essay fasst wichtige Merkmale des Populismus zusammen und zeigt, wie vielfältig und widersprüchlich die Effekte auf die moderne Demokratie sind: Neben den guten, die Demokratie in bestimmten Situationen belebenden, und den schlechten, zum Autoritarismus neigenden, aber doch kontrollierbaren, tritt der hässliche, die Demokratie zerstörende Populismus.

Political science has been unable to grasp populism both comprehensively and conceptually up to today – and its relationship to democracy is seen as unsolved as well. The essay summarizes important characteristics of populism and shows how diverse and contradictory the effects are on modern democracy: beside the good populism that stimulates democracy in certain situations and the bad populism that tends toward authoritarianism while still controllable, appears the ugly populism that destroys democracy.


Münkler, Herfried:
Populismus, Eliten und Demokratie. Eine ideengeschichtlich - politiktheoretische Erkundigung (S. 195–219)

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Populismus ist ein Sammelbegriff, in dem unterschiedliche Strategien zur Mobilisierung wie Pazifizierung „des Volkes“ zusammengefasst werden. Gemeinsam ist diesen Strategien, dass die Eliten sich nicht mehr zutrauen, die entstandenen Probleme ohne Beteiligung des Volkes lösen zu können, aber wie diese Beteiligung aussieht, unterscheidet sich von Fall zu Fall. Sie kann zur Entstehung der Demokratie führen (antikes Athen), zur Institutionalisierung des Volkstribunats (antikes Rom), zur Herrschaft Einzelner (Tyrannis), aber auch zu einer bloß sporadischen Beteiligung des Volkes an den politischen Entscheidungen. Generell ist der Populismus gekennzeichnet durch einen antiinstitutionellen und antiprozeduralen Affekt sowie ein starkes Elite- und Avantgardebewusstsein. Vor allem die revolutionären Bewegungen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts haben sich scharf gegen den Populismus abgegrenzt und zu dem überwiegend negativen Begriffsgebrauch beigetragen. Mit welchen Konnotationen der Begriff in Wissenschaft und Publizistik heute verwandt wird, ist im Wesentlichen von der Demokratievorstellung dessen abhängig, der den Begriff verwendet. Dennoch sollte die Politikwissenschaft den Begriff nicht aufgeben, sondern seine Ambivalenzen analytisch nutzen.

Populism is a collective term summarizing different strategies for the mobilization as well as the pacification “of the people“. These strategies have in common that the elites no longer trust themselves to be able to solve the emerged problems without the participation of the people. However, the form this participation takes is different from case to case. It can lead to the creation of democracy (ancient Athens), to the institutionalization of the people’s tribune (ancient Rome), to the rule of individuals (tyranny) but also to an only sporadic participation of the people in political decisions. Generally, populism is marked by an anti-institutional and anti-procedural affect as well as a strong elitist and avant-guard consciousness. Particularly the revolutionary movements of the 19th and 20th century sharply closed themselves off from populism and contributed to the predominantly negative use of the term. Which connotations science and media studies apply to the term nowadays, essentially depends on the idea of democracy of the person using the term. Nonetheless, political science should not abandon the term, but, instead, use its ambivalences analytically.


Pombeni, Paolo:
Das Problem des Populismus im Rahmen der europäischen Geschichte (S. 221–236)

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Populism was treated as a special subject and in a certain way connected to the concept of “demagogy”. It was presented as a sort of cancer inside the constitutional and democratic-oriented political systems of 19th and 20th centuries. The essay shows how in some sense the “appeal to the people” is deeply included in the roots of modern constitutionalism. Based on the idea of the “sovereign people”, modern constitutionalism can not avoid the challenge from subjects claiming that its actual form has betrayed the faith of the “true” people. This challenge is not necessary produced in order to defeat the democratic constitution, but, of course, an evil always existing. The border line between a “good” and a “bad” populism is very thin and to govern these boundaries is a heavy job for a political system looking for its balance. The duty for the leaders of making political speeches, party platforms as means to fight elections and in the end the uprising of television as a communicative medium also for building up political consensus have complicated the panorama of the good and bad uses of appealing to the people.


Cedroni, Lorella:
Die Morphologie des Populismus (S. 237–250)

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Populism has been considered as a complex phenomenon, a syndrome, and more recently as an ideology. This contribution gives some methodological indications in order to analyze populism as a particular kind of ideology. It is based on the morphological approach. This approach permits to find the core of populism and a cluster of central and peripheral concepts. The most important principle of the morphological approach is the de-contestation. As Michael Freeden showed, the de-contestation concerns the competition of the meaning given to the conceptual combination of the terms of the political sphere. This article assumes populism as a weak ideology with a strong core#: the concept of popular sovereignty; an ideology very close to democracy, and to other non democratic ideologies.


Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira:
Skizze einer vergleichenden Forschungsagenda zum Populismus (S. 251–271)

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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.


Diehl, Paula:
Die Komplexität des Populismus. Ein Plädoyer für ein mehrdimensionales und graduelles Konzept (S. 273–291)

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Populism research has never found a common definition of the phenomenon. Especially in empirical research, scholars operate with varied criteria, privileging different dimensions of the phenomenon. Given this situation, it is not surprising that they get contradictory results with regard to their case studies. But if we look closer at this situation, we can clearly see that the populism theory implicitly works with various dimensions of populism. This article proposes a new approach to populism theory and method and brings three dimensions of the phenomenon into the same concept of populism. In this perspective, populism is conceived as a multidimensional and gradual phenomenon.


Hirschinger, Frank:
Der Mythos um den Kommandeur des „Thälmann - Bataillons“ Bruno Hinz (1900–1937) (S. 293–316)

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In the German Democratic Republic antifascism was an important propagandistic component to claim the regime’s alleged moral and political superiority. Biographies of antifascist resistants were misused and often falsified for political purposes. Antifascist resistants were described as stereotype heroic figures, whose political legacy had to be fulfilled. The essay deals with Bruno Hinz, a prominent member of the “International Brigades”, and confronts official propaganda with documents.


Buchbesprechungen / Book Reviews

Systemwechsel in Deutschland. 1918/19 – 1933 – 1945/49 – 1989/90
Köln / Weimar / Wien (Böhlau Verlag) 2010 / Autor: Jesse, Eckhard
Rezension: Hendrik Hansen (S. 319–322)

Krieger und Gelehrte. Herbert Marcuse und die Denksysteme im Kalten Krieg
Hamburg (Hamburger Edition) 2010 / Autor: Müller, Tim B.
Rezension: Frank Schale (S. 323–327)

Polen unter kommunistischer Diktatur 1944–1956. Mit Vergleichen zur DDR
Schwerin () 2010 / Autor: Doliesen, Gerhard
Rezension: Tytus Jaskulowski (S. 327–330)

Rechtsextremismus in Ostdeutschland. Demokratie und Rechtsextremismus im ländlichen Raum
Schwalbach /Ts. (Wochenschau-Verlag) 2010 / Autor: Buchstein, Hubertus; Heinrich, Gudrun
Rezension: Harald Bergsdorf (S. 330–332)

Rezensionen