Could Populism be Good for Constitutional Democracy?

Populism is Janus-faced. There is not a single form of populism but rather a variety of different forms, each with profoundly different political consequences. Despite the current hegemony of authoritarian populism, a much different sort of populism is also possible: democratic and anti-establishment populism, which combines elements of liberal and democratic convictions. When we examine the relationship between populism and constitutional democracy, populism should not be considered in isolation from its host ideology. Examples of democratic, liberal, socially inclusive forms of populism quite clearly show that authoritarianism and anti-pluralism are not necessarily the key elements of populism. However, the paucity of democratic populism also suggests that we have to look at factors other than ideology to understand why nativist and authoritarian populism currently dominates the political scene.