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Examining the populist form of representation: The case of Podemos
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the Spanish left-wing party Podemos and their populist way of expressing politics. There is a vast empirical literature which tries to capture the different elements of populist parties. This thesis seeks to go beyond this, through examining populism as a form of representation. Since scholars have claimed that mainstream parties are facing a crisis of representation, it is of great relevance to understand which sort of representation that populist parties offer in turn. Podemos has in previous research been considered as a new form of left-wing party, primarily because they actively have stepped away from using a traditional left-wing terminology. Instead, Podemos has been recognized for their populist way of expressing politics, through dividing the Spanish society into “the people” and “the elite”. However, this division of the Spanish society has not been interpreted and examined in terms of representation. To examine what I have labeled the populist form of representation, the thesis investigates the political style of Podemos secretary general, Pablo Iglesias, and his way of creating the subject which populist parties claims to represent – “the people”.

 

The result of the study shows that Podemos has a populist form of representation. The secretary general of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, adopts a populist style and he constructs a populist “people” through claiming to represent several groups and demands in society. Further, the thesis has shown that Iglesias style as well is dependent on several contextual elements, such as technocratic, cultural and left-wing features of performance. Moreover, even though the construction of “the people” is consisting of the claim to represent several demands, they are all tied to a general defense of the Spanish welfare state. The thesis has further shown that Iglesias creation of “the people” consists of characterizing it as the ordinary people, the colorful people, the historical people and the governing people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 55
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-376231OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-376231DiVA, id: diva2:1285189
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Master Programme in Political Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-02-04 Created: 2019-02-03 Last updated: 2019-02-04Bibliographically approved

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