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Robert R. Barr, "Populists, Outsiders and Anti-Establishment Politics," Party Politics, 15 (January, 2009), 29-48.

First paragraph:
In recent years there has been much discussion of parties in decline around the globe, an increased dissatisfaction with politics as usual and a rise in right-wing populism in Europe and neopopulism in Latin America. To capture these phenomena, analysts use terms such as anti-politics, outsider politics and populism. However, the literature seldom defines these terms with precision; their meanings at times overlap but at others diverge. The result is a high level of conceptual cloudiness when it comes to issues of public discontent and its political manifestations.

Figures and Tables:
None.

First Paragraph of Conclusion:
(First paragraph of conclusion) In this article, I have attempted to clarify the relationship among three distinct contemporary issues that the literature often conflates: anti-establishment politics, political outsiders and populism. In order to make sense of these manifestations of public discontent, I argue that one must examine the nature of political appeals, the individual's location vis-à-vis the party system and the linkages emphasized. Anti-establishment politics refers to a rhetorical appeal based on opposition to those who wield power within the state. These appeals, furthermore, are associated with specific corrections or means of fixing the flaws of the nation's representative democracy: simply changing the personnel, or doing this in conjunction with either promoting citizen participation in the political process or with more effective governance through someone who embodies the popular will. These corrections, in turn, are associated with specific types of linkages, the interactive means of connecting citizens with politics.

Last updated December 2008