International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences edition:2nd revised pages:609-612
Populism is a concept applied to a wide range of political movements and actors across the globe. There is, at the same time, considerable confusion about the attributes and manifestation of populism, as well as its impact on democracy. This contribution identifies the defining elements of the populist ideology and discusses the varieties in which populism manifests itself, for instance as a component of certain party families. We finally discuss various normative interpretations of populism, and the tension between populism and liberal democratic values.