Challenging the Liberal Establishment and Consolidating the Authoritarian Regime: Comparing Populism(s) in Contemporary Western Europe and Russia

Çelov, İgor
The concept of populism has become particularly salient in the academic debates of recent years. Yet, there are few cross-regional studies of the populist phenomena. Comparisons of populism across qualitatively different polities are even fewer. The main reason behind this gap can be attributed to the fact that there is as much dispute about defining populism as there is about studying it, both of which contribute to the theoretical dissonance of populism studies. In this thesis, I attempt to bridge the gap between the three recent approaches to the study of populism – the Ideational Approach (Cas Mudde), the Discursive Approach (Ernesto Laclau), and the Political-Strategic Approach (Kurt Weyland) – by suggesting a conceptual categorisation of content, form, and function respectively. I argue that this analytical distinction allows one to employ these three recent approaches to the study of populism in a complementary manner, by virtue of which, a cross-regional comparison of populism becomes more viable. I employ this categorisation to illuminate the similarities and differences between the 21st century populist experience in France (Front National), the Netherlands (Partij voor de Vrijheid), and Russia (Vladimir Putin’s presidencies). I arrive at the conclusion that while Marine Le Pen’s and Geert Wilders’ populism is peculiarly different from Putin’s populism in terms of content, form, and function, the remarkable similarity between these cases lies in their tendency to de-politicise and de-institutionalise the political participation of citizens. Moreover, their populism enables the far right ideology to traverse borders and to attain cross-regional solidarity.


Transformation of the State and Class Relations: Furthering Authoritarianism in Turkey
Topal Yılmaz, Aylin (null; 2017-11-09)
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the transformation of state in different historically specific contexts by problematising the concept of authoritarian neoliberalism. It intends to do so by exploring the reorganisation of social forces and transformation of state power within an authoritarian state form as exemplified by the case of Turkey. It will also attempt to refresh class analysis in order to develop a better understanding of different modalities of reproduction of labour quite often wit...
Understanding populist party electorate in Europe: A study of left-wing populist and right-wing populist parties after the crisis
Gitmez, Ali Onur; Avcı, Özgür; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2020-10)
This thesis aims to explain the behaviour behind voting for radical populist parties. Previous studies have found often conflicting results regarding the characteristics of populist party voters, some suggesting modern populist party voter do not fit the traditional norms of populist party voters. This study argues after the economic crisis, populist parties have returned to their traditional electorate. By focusing on populist parties based on their classification in PopuList dataset and using data from Ro...
Toprak Sakız, Elif; Korkut Naykı, Nil; Department of English Literature (2021-7-1)
Handling the world as a whole with its collective problems has become a matter of considerable concern for social, cultural and literary studies with the turn of the millennium. The first two decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a renewal of attention to cosmopolitanism and its gradual transformation, especially since the global financial crisis of 2008. It is from this vantage point that this dissertation looks at British cosmopolitan fiction and its features, arguing that postmillennial cosm...
Putin and Virtu: Historicizing Machiavelli in twenty-first century Russian politics
Nigar, İbrahimova; Saurin, Julian; Political Science and International Relations (2013-6)
This study investigates how seemingly archaic political concepts may still be usefully applied in the analysis of current or recent politics. By identifying the importance of historicism in the history of political thought, this thesis examines the work and concepts of the Renaissance Florentine political thinker Niccolo Machiavelli. Focusing on his concept of virtú, and the related concept of fortuna, this thesis explains their use by Machiavelli and then elaborates these concepts against recent Russ...
Foreign Policy Operational Codes of Populist Far-Right Leaders in Europe
Ceydilek, Erdem (2017-09-13)
This study focuses on a relatively under-studied subject within the literature of far right populism. By using the operational code construct (Leites 1951, 1953; George 1969, Walker 2000) we depict foreign policy belief systems of eight populist far right leaders in Europe. In line with this research question, we test the following hypotheses: (i) In terms of foreign policy belief systems , these populist far right leaders share a common pattern. (ii) These leaders' foreign policy belief system are signific...
Citation Formats
İ. Çelov, “Challenging the Liberal Establishment and Consolidating the Authoritarian Regime: Comparing Populism(s) in Contemporary Western Europe and Russia,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.