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Radical left populism in contemporary Greece: Syriza's trajectory from minoritarian opposition to power
journal contributionposted on 12.02.2018, 12:04 by Giorgos KatsambekisGiorgos Katsambekis
The recent rise to power of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) in Greece has confronted political scientists with an empirical terra incognita and a broader theoretico-political puzzle. On the one hand, research on the European radical Left is relatively underdeveloped; on the other hand, Syriza’s left-wing egalitarian and inclusionary populism challenges the definitions and analytical tools of various models regarding the populist phenomenon. This article aims at an in-depth exploration of Syriza’s discourse, covering the period from its emergence as a loose coalition of parties and groups in 2004 up to the campaign that led to its accession to power in 2015. The contribution of this study to the relevant literature is twofold. First, it offers an original and extensive survey of the discourse of this coalition/party while in opposition, and also critically assesses it interms of its populist character and particular contents. Second, it builds on the peculiarities of Syriza’s populism to highlight specific shortcomings in mainstream approaches to populism, while it advocates a minimal discursive definition of populism based on the theoretical contribution of Ernesto Laclau and the so-called “Essex School.”
- Social Sciences
- Politics and International Studies