Populists may give political voice to the weak, but they do not give an equal voice to all, writes Professor Dimitris Sotiropoulos, Senior Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, in his article for the newspaper Kathimerini. The discussion around populism tends to revolve around its definition and causes, yet there is rarely a focus on how to prevent the future rise of populist policies and governments, argues Prof. Sotiropoulos. Even those who appreciate populism for its ability to increase political participation and communicate the interests of marginalized communities agree that it can equally become a threat to democracy. By expressing their belief that only they represent the people authentically, populists undermine the independence of the judiciary and the media from the executive authority, while simultaneously equalizing their own opponents with external threats, Prof. Sotiropoulos explains. Furthermore, if the populist group is right-wing, they restrict the rights of minorities, refugees and migrants. On the other hand, if the populist group is left-wing, they lobby against private business and the middle and upper social strata. They also adopt measures that benefit not the working class in its entirely but specific groups within it, for example those belonging to a favorable union.


You can read the article in Greek here.