Populizm jako choroba demokracji


  • Janusz Reykowski członek korespondent PAN, Instytut Psychologii PAN, Warszawa


Populism is understood here according to the widely accepted definition by C. Mudde as a para-ideology containing two components, anti-elitism and the sovereignty of the people. It expresses itself in the form of social movements, specific forms of policy pursued, which sustains or inspires social conflicts, and at the same time is intended to please the people. Politics is led by a charismatic leader who gains legitimacy through elections, but the conditions of electoral competition are modified in various ways to ensure the success of the populist party and its leader. The article discusses the results of psychological research that deal with the psychological determinants of populist attitudes. They concern the emotional-motivational and cognitive functioning of those who accept the para-ideology of populism and populist power. The genesis of populism is also discussed, which is related to some important defects in liberal democracies.