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Populist(s) in Government? The Case of SYRIZA

Democracy
European Union
Extremism
Government
Party Manifestos
Political Parties
Maurits Meijers
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Maurits Meijers
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
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Abstract

This article discusses the uneasy relationship between Syriza’s role as the main coalition party and its populist character. While many newly governing populist parties shed their populist strategy once they assume office, the case of Syriza is less straightforward. In office, Syriza has retained many of its populist traits. With populism defined as the juxtaposition between ‘the people’ and ‘the elites, the paper examines Syriza’s anti-establishment politics while in government. In the light of the distinction between populism as a core ideological feature and populism as a political strategy, this paper analyses the character of Syriza’s populism in their first months in office.