Challenge Of Populism

Overview

Direct democracy is on the rise in America, according to recent research on referendum, initiative, and recall. This book presents a qualitative analysis of America's current trend toward populism. By tracing the intellectual origins of present populist movements, Michael P. Federici explores the extent to which such movements complement the American Constitutional tradition. In particular, he analyzes post-World War II, right-wing populism--its emergence, characteristics, and historical roots. Throughout this ...

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Overview

Direct democracy is on the rise in America, according to recent research on referendum, initiative, and recall. This book presents a qualitative analysis of America's current trend toward populism. By tracing the intellectual origins of present populist movements, Michael P. Federici explores the extent to which such movements complement the American Constitutional tradition. In particular, he analyzes post-World War II, right-wing populism--its emergence, characteristics, and historical roots. Throughout this work, Federici reflects on the meaning of democracy; he warns that right-wing populism is not compatible with the American Constitutional tradition.

Federici distinguishes between two types of democracy--constitutional and plebiscitary--which have opposed each other since the time of America's founding fathers. He believes this larger debate must be explored in order to understand the current rise of populism in the United States. Federici argues that plebiscitary democracy is strongly related to populism and that it presents a challenge to the Constitutional tradition. He uncovers the roots of right-wing populism in three arenas: economics, religion, and foreign policy. This book offers important insights for journalists, students, and scholars of American history, social movements, sociology, and democracy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275939069
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/1991
  • Pages: 174
  • Lexile: 1480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL P. FEDERICI is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Concord College, Athens, West Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Meaning of Right-Wing Populism

The Meaning and Intellectual Origins of Populism

Toward a Definition of Right-Wing Populism

The Postwar Crisis

A Typology of Right-Wing Populism

The Political Economy of Right-Wing Populism

The Religious Right and Right-Wing Populism

Foreign Policy Populism

Right-Wing Populism

The Cultural and Ethical Foundations of Democracy

Assessing Right-Wing Populism

Selected Bibliography

Index

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