There are two prevalent ways of approaching the populist phenomenon. The first, perhaps most widely embraced view, is to perceive populism as a ‘disease’, ‘deviation’, or ‘pathology’ of existing democracy. A second view understands contemporary ‘neo-populisms’ rather as one particular instance of a rather profound, complex, and long-term set of transformations of democracy. Where we stand on this matter is of great importance, as the feasibility and potential success of our responses and solutions depend on our description of the problem. The paper discusses the two positions, their diagnosis of the predicament of constitutional democracy, and the potential solutions endorsed.
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