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Access_open De halve waarheid van het populisme

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords populism, self-inclusion, vitalism, democracy, Lefort
Authors Bert Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    Does populism add value to the political debate by showing that the ideals of Enlightenment are too abstract and rationalist to understand politics in democratic terms? The paper argues two theses, critically engaging Lefort’s work: (i) instead of offering valuable criticism, populism feeds on the very principle that Enlightenment has introduced: a polity rests on self-inclusion with reference to a quasi-transcendent realm; (ii) populism’s appeal to simple emotions feeds on the vitalist (rather than merely institutionalist) pulse in any polity. Both dimensions of politics are inevitable as well as elusive. In particular with regard to the vitalist pulse we have no response to the half-truths of populism, as both national and constitutional patriotism seem on the wrong track.


Bert Roermund
Bert van Roermund has held the Chair in Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University and is currently Professor of (Political) Philosophy at the same University as well as 2010-2011 Visiting Professor at K.U. Leuven.
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