Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



As far as the study of (left) populism is concerned, Political Discourse Theory has been largely associated with a novel and challenging take on populist politics, first emerging in Laclau’s work in the 1970s and preoccupying Laclau, Mouffe and their co-travellers continuously since then. What has not been adequately articulated yet is what would be the limits of (left) populism as a political strategy from a discursive perspective. This short paper aims at remedying this lacuna in the relevant literature indicating certain ways forward for the discursive analysis of populism. The argument operates both at a theoretical and conceptual level as well as at the level of historical, empirical analysis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anria, Santiago, and Kenneth M. Roberts
    2019 “Bolivia After Morales: What Lies in Store for the Country?.” Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/print/1125227 (accessed23 December 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bahiana, Maria
    2019 “Transformamos pobres em consumidores e não em cidadãos, diz Mujica.” BBC News Brasil, https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-46624102?fbclid=IwAR2-N33cNAgGD5_KHyYPL4GYXplH4QNW1JeuWFtDFoVuinFjjcUuRGMOIUU (accessed23 December 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Barthes, Roland
    2012Mythologies. New York: Hill and Wang.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bermeo, Nancy
    2003Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 10.1515/9780691214139
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691214139 [Google Scholar]
  5. Blanchet, Reginald
    2019Politics of the Psychoanalyst. Athens: Ekkremes (in Greek).
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Crouch, Colin
    2004Post-Democracy. London: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. De Cleen, Benjamin, and Yannis Stavrakakis
    2017 “Distinctions and Articulations: Discourse Theory and the Study of Populism and Nationalism.” Javnost – The Public24 (4): 301–319. 10.1080/13183222.2017.1330083
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2017.1330083 [Google Scholar]
  8. Kantorowicz, Ernst
    1997The King’s Two Bodies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Laclau, Ernesto
    1977Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory. London: NLR Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 2005On Populist Reason. London: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 2014The Rhetorical Foundations of Society. London: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe
    1985Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. London: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Lefort, Claude
    1988Democracy and Political Theory. Oxford: Polity.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. McCormick, John
    2019 “Machiavelli’s Camillus and the Tension Between Leadership and Democracy.” InThe Oxford Handbook of Law and Humanities, edited bySimon Stern, Maksymilian Del Mar, and Bernadette Meyler, 409–427. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Mosquera, Martin
    2019 “The Day After Macri’s Downfall.” Jacobin, 22September 2019, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/09/macri-argentina-elections-peronism-labor (accessed23 December 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Mudde, Cas, and Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser
    2017Populism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/actrade/9780190234874.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780190234874.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  17. Müller, Jan-Werner
    2016What is Populism?Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 10.9783/9780812293784
    https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812293784 [Google Scholar]
  18. Santner, Eric
    2011The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226735344.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226735344.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  19. Siniosoglou, Nikitas
    2018Black Wills. Athens: Kichli (in Greek).
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Stavrakakis, Yannis
    1999Lacan and the Political. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 2016 “State and Event in the Greek Crisis: 2015 Revisited.” InBadiou & the State, edited byDominik Finkelde85–106. Baden-Baden/London: Nomos/Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2017a “How did ‘Populism’ Become a Pejorative Concept? And Why is this Important Today? A Genealogy of Double Hermeneutics.” POPULISMUS working paper6, www.populismus.gr/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/stavrakakis-populismus-wp-6-upload.pdf (accessed23 December 2019).
    [Google Scholar]
  23. 2017b “Discourse Theory in Populism Research: Three Challenges and a Dilemma.” Journal of Language and Politics16 (4): 523–534. doi:  10.1075/jlp.17025.sta
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.17025.sta [Google Scholar]
  24. Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Giorgos Katsambekis
    2014 “Left-wing Populism in the European Periphery: The Case of SYRIZA.” Journal of Political Ideologies19 (2): 119–142. doi:  10.1080/13569317.2014.909266
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13569317.2014.909266 [Google Scholar]
  25. Stavrakakis, Yannis, Alexandros Kioupkiolis, Giorgos Katsambekis, Thomas Siomos, and Nikos Nikisianis
    2016 “Contemporary Left-wing Populism in Latin America: Leadership, Horizontalism, and Post-democracy in Chávez’s Venezuela.” Latin American Politics and Society58 (3): 51–76. doi:  10.1111/j.1548‑2456.2016.00318.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-2456.2016.00318.x [Google Scholar]
  26. Stavrakakis, Yannis, Giorgos Katsambekis, Alexandros Kioupkiolis, Thomas Siomos, and Nikos Nikisianis
    2017 “Extreme Right-wing Populism in Europe: Revisiting a Reified Association.” Critical Discourse Studies14 (4): 420–439. doi:  10.1080/17405904.2017.1309325
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2017.1309325 [Google Scholar]
  27. Stavrakakis, Yannis, and Anton Jäger
    2018 “Accomplishments and Limitations of the ‘New’ Mainstream in Contemporary Populism Studies.” European Journal of Social Theory21(4): 547–565. doi:  10.1177/1368431017723337
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431017723337 [Google Scholar]
  28. Touraine, Alain
    1994 “Democracy.” Thesis Eleven38: 1–15. 10.1177/072551369403800102
    https://doi.org/10.1177/072551369403800102 [Google Scholar]
  29. Urbinati, Nadia
    2018 “Political Theory of Populism.” Annual Review of Political Science19. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-polisci-050317-070753 (accessed23December 2019) 10.1146/annurev‑polisci‑050317‑070753
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-050317-070753 [Google Scholar]
  30. Wolin, Sheldon
    2008Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): democracy; discourse; leadership; left; limits; nationalism; populism; power; sovereignty
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error