There seem to be left-wing and right-wing versions of populism. Most academic writing has focused on the right-wing versions. Both right-wing and left-wing populist movements are antiliberal and anticosmopolitan, with right-wing movements more comprehensive in their anticosmopolitanism than some left-wing movements. Right-wing populism is a movement of democracy against all versions of liberalism considered as a political theory premised upon ideas about the inherent equality of all people. Left-wing populism is different. Its program is to realize one specification of liberalism – the social-welfare constitutionalism that political elites promised. The movements share these attributes because the attributes flow from roughly the same sorts of reasons. Contemporary populism originated in the political economy of the early twenty-first century, and in the party structures associated with that political economy.
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