Populism Versus the Populist Parties : An Analysis of the Relationship Between Ideology and Populism on the Cases of Fidesz and Syriza

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för statsvetenskap (ST)

Abstract: This is a case study aiming to clarify the potentially outdated focus on the populist features in modern populist parties. By analyzing the right-wing populist party of Fidesz and the left-wing populist party of Syriza the aim is to clarify whether populism as a feature is descriptive enough to illustrate these parties, regardless their ideological stance, or whether ideology should be taken more into account than it tends to do today. To do this, the policies of each party are mapped to distinguish populist similarities, despite their ideological disparity and their differences. The analysis is delimited by the three pillars of civil society: Freedom of Associations, Freedom of Peaceful Assemblies and Freedom of Expression, referred to as the three pillars of civil society. The study shows that the descriptiveness of Fidesz as a right-wing populist party is conformed. However, the policies of Syriza demonstrate a variation of partially right-wing and left-wing populism, but also tendencies of no populism at all in their foreign policies. The descriptiveness of contemporary left-wing populist parties in the case of Syriza is thereby questionable. 

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