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Lame Liberal Leaders, Mistrustful Voters, and the Populist Counterrevoluti...

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Theatre 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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What do people vote against when they decide to cast a vote for the populists? In this talk, drawing from many cases of successful populist parties in Europe and the Americas, Pappas makes the argument that populism is a counterrevolution by people who become mistrustful of liberal democracy when they feel betrayed by liberal elites. His account, based on a novel definition of populism as democratic illiberalism, offers a credible causal explanation of populism, and also reveals contemporary liberal democracy’s fatal deficiency. To fight against populism, Pappas argues, it is necessary that political leaders project new compelling narratives able to generate fresh trust for liberal democracy.


Takis S. Pappas (PhD Yale) is an author and independent scholar, currently working on a book project under the title Democratic Illiberalism: How Populism Grows to Menace Democracy. In the past, he was tenured professor in Greece and held teaching positions at various other universities in France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Norway. Besides comparative populism and liberal democratic politics, his published work extends in the fields of political leadership, patronage politics, parties and party systems, and has appeared in American Behavioral Scientist, Comparative Political Studies, Constellations, Government and Opposition, Journal of Democracy, Party Politics, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, West European Politics, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, among others. He has authored the books Making Party Democracy in Greece (1999), The Charismatic Party: PASOK, Papandreou, Power (2009, in Greek), Populism and Crisis Politics in Greece (2014), and co-edited European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession (2015). His latest book is On the Tightrope: National Crises and Brinkmanship in Greece from Trikoupis to Tsipras (2017, in Greek).

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Theatre 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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