A spectre is haunting Western democracies – the spectre of populism. Whether left-populism, right-populism, populism from above or from below – hardly any word is used more often to describe, criticise, or mobilise against contemporary political developments.
Populism was also a major theme of the Great Regression book launch in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt on 26 April. While Arjun Appadurai was fairly open to the term’s descriptive usage, Donatella della Porta cautioned the audience against the danger of stigmatisation that could potentially accompany it. Wolfgang Streeck, on the other hand, suggested that it might be the duty of intellectuals to deconstruct the concept »populism«.