Towards a Critical Hermeneutics of Populism

Gonçalo Marcelo

Abstract


This paper aims to define and set the goals of what it calls a ‘Critical Hermeneutics of Populism’. Starting with the diagnosis of the ascent of rightwing populism being directly tied with the democratic legitimation deficit and the social problems caused by neoliberal policies, it assesses populist phenomena through the lens of hermeneutics. It argues that populism is not an entirely irrational phenomenon and that in spite of some common features of its intrinsic logic, substantive differences exist between left (or progressive) political proposals and their rightwing, exclusionary counterparts. The paper claims that only an assessment of the discourses, values, and practices put forward by each political proposal that can be dubbed ‘populist’ will reveal its perils and promises, and help distinguish which types of populism are lethal to liberal democracy, and which can actually help to deepen it. Finally, it argues that given the interpretative and potentially transformative features of Hermeneutics, a Critical Hermeneutics of populism might be the approach providing us with the best tools to operate such distinctions.


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References


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NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-24863

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/CH/3711

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Copyright (c) 2019 Gonçalo Marcelo

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