Populism

Discipline: Political Science

Attribution of virtue and/or authority to the 'common people'.

'Ordinary people' are possessed of simple qualities and straightforward insights, which distinguish them from politicians and members of other elites, all of whom are characterized as devious and self-seeking.

Politics should thus be carried out on behalf of 'the people'.

Source:
David Miller et al., eds, The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)

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