Myth of co-existence amid the rise of populism

By Ramsha Qaiser. 

Populism cannot be defined by one set of distinctive features but rather it holds Universal differential traits among itself consisting of different countries that show populist political structures in the discourse and show distinctive policy structures. Like any political structure of the world populist parties are also divided among the right wing, left wing and centrist if you want to analyses as to why populist leaders got chosen by the people. There have been for many centuries rise of popular leaders in different countries the left wing populist leader’s would work to pitch the people of the country against the existing government. The right wing populism show triadic properties as they pitch the people against Elite.

The very mentality of us versus them which creates a divide between people living in the same country possess a threat to coexistence. The conflict that populism generates between the people making them believe that there current government and establishment is not capable to grant them rights poses grave threats to democracy. Populist leaders show the demands which themselves are conflictual in nature. The rise of populist leaders such as Trump who demanded recount for votes and incited violence which led to a large number turn towards capitol, show how populism attracts conflicts and the demands which would create divide among people .this is the reason that when populist leaders do get elected the nation as a whole faces identity crisis because the very demands upon which the political ideologies stood up are aimed at creating rather dissipating the whole Nation. If populist leaders give up on their demands which are aimed at creating a clash between people that party would turn into a normal candidacy.[1]

The trend of populism rising as the favorable kind of government is a more challenging .The people themselves favoring such parties and leaders which are challenging the norms of the existing governing policies and calling out the minorities are the threats to the common themselves show that maintaining peace is it difficult. According to the Global index there is a rising trend of populism especially in European countries such as Italy Poland etc.[2] this rise in populism would challenge the Well-functioning governments and acceptance among different groups of people. Among different existing governments it is seen that populism brings a physical challenge to the well-functioning of the existing Government and its policies.

With the current rise again and the current direction in which the events are unfolding show that it can quickly turn into something grave. This also shows how self-interest is the only motivation. If such populistic ideas continue to grow, the future of the world seems to be grim. The intolerance among people from different racial groups, cultural groups and religious background show the growing skepticism among different groups of people. the lack of human integrity also threatens the Global organization such as UN, WTO, EU etc. because once the countries develop popular stick ideas they would not want to benefit from the foreign Corporation due to lack of trust.[3] This shows how populism is also approach to globalization and global trade for staff when United States withdraw from the trans Pacific partnership it was an example of have populism is affecting the Global Markets and foreign policies. With being a threat to globalization democracy and coexistence there is also lesser respect of humanity.

The populist ideologies are strong enough to make people subdue the current economic interest and move towards something that is nonexistent.  The Trans Pacific relations and other such complex international matters which do not concern the general public have been the targeted victims by the populist leaders. [4]The rule that that these factors played in brexit campaign in Trump elections is the degree to which globalization and coexistence would post threat to majority. The factors such as working class conservatism in the talking of the forelocks has been the prime factors upon which populist leaders play to.  Populist parties play to move the general public from rationality to irrationality making them belief in post factual politics something that is not existent. The use of blatant lies and illogic for the propaganda of increasing one’s own vote bank is second nature to a populist party.

To conclude in order to bring the fragility from what the democracies are offering, it is necessary to understand the undertones of the disparity among the people are living which is making them to move towards the identity that the populist state has to offer. The problem that the simplistic populist ideals dwell on the xenophobia and islamophobia ideologies to transform the landscapes that currently people are living in to make it more palpable and to win the elections shows that individual liberties must be unified. Another thing that is important is that many Europeans countries such as France and AustroHungary, Poland show that the leaders that are governing them are making them to move towards more authoritarian system taking away the happiness and sanctity of individual’s life. So in order to lessen the eco that’s coming from there it is necessary to sympathize with such democracies. To compare the populist ideologies which are standing today comes from the shadows of the fascist ideologies of history. When populistic ideas come forth as beacon of hope and the promise of reinventing future which would bring more hope to people.

So the core argument that stands is that the populistic parties might look as the true people’s party and true representatives of their desire but it is only an illusion to show to the people. In order to avoid the people from falling in this trap it is necessary to bring out the true institutional checks and balances.


[1] Kaltwasser, C. R. (2014). The responses of populism to Dahl’s democratic dilemmas. Political Studies62(3), 470-487.

[2] Stavrakakis, Y., & Katsambekis, G. (2014). Left-wing populism in the European periphery: the case of SYRIZA. Journal of political ideologies19(2), 119-142.

[3] Littler, J. (2013). Meritocracy as plutocracy: The marketising of’Equality’under neoliberalism. New Formations80(80), 52-72.

[4] Michael, G. (2014). A NEW AMERICAN POPULIST COALITION?. The promise and perils of populism: Global perspectives, 265.