Populism is a notoriously vague concept, and scholars of populism frequently mention its polysemic and elusive, chameleon-like nature. It was defined as an ideology, a doctrine, a mentality, a system of ideas and a political style, also a rhetoric, demagogy, and discourse, or as a number of concrete historical movements. Thus many advocate speaking of populism in the plural and prefer examining each concrete case individually.

Indeed, there are very specific and idiosyncratic characteristics to the Narodnichestvo of agrarian Russia, the populiusmo of Argentinean descamisados (“the shirtless people”), the American farmers movement, and even the supporters of Joerg Heider in Austria or Jean-Marie Le Pen in France at the beginning of the 21st century. There are, however, some common denominators to all of these historical phenomena ...

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