Left-wing populism is a political ideology which combines left-wing politics and populist rhetoric and themes. In this context, populism is not meant as demagoguery, but in the scholarly sense of supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite. The rhetoric of left-wing populism often consists of anti-elitist sentiments, opposition to the system and speaking for the "common people". The important themes for left-wing populists usually include anti-capitalism, social justice, pacifism and anti-globalization, whereas class society ideology or socialist theory is not as important as it is to traditional left-wing parties. The criticism of capitalism and globalization is linked to anti-Americanism, which has increased in the left populist movements as a result of unpopular United States military operations, especially those in the Middle East. It is considered that the populist left does not exclude others horizontally and relies on egalitarian ideals. Some scholars point out nationalist left-wing populist movements as well, a feature exhibited by Kemalism in Turkey for instance. For left-wing populist parties supportive of minority rights among others, the term "inclusionary populism" has been used.
The Party of Democratic Socialism was explicitly studied under left-wing populism, especially by German academics. The party was formed after the reunification of Germany and it was similar to right-wing populists in that it relied on anti-elitism and media attention provided by a charismatic leadership. The party competed for the same voter base with the right-wing populists to some extent, although it relied on a more serious platform in Eastern Germany. This was limited by anti-immigration sentiments preferred by some voters, although the lines were for example crossed by Oskar Lafontaine, who used a term previously associated with the Nazi Party, Fremdarbeiter ("foreign workers"), in his election campaign in 2005. The PDS merged into the Left Party in 2007.
Syriza, which became the largest party since January 2015 elections, has been described as a left-wing populist party after their platform incorporated most demands of the popular movements in Greece during the government-debt crisis. Populist traits in Syriza's platform include growing importance of "the People" in their rhetoric and "us/the people against them/the establishment" antagonism in campaigning. On immigration and LGBT rights, Syriza is inclusionary. Syriza itself does not accept the label "populist".
The Socialist Party has run a left-wing populist platform after dropping its communist course in 1991. Although some have pointed out that the party has become less populist over the years, it still includes anti-elitism in its recent election manifestos. It opposes what it sees as the European superstate.
The presidency of Hugo Chávez resembled a combination of folk wisdom and charismatic leadership with doctrinaire socialism. Chávez's government was also described to have been a "throwback" to populist nationalism and redistributivism.
Weyland, Kurt (2013). "The Threat from the Populist Left". Journal of Democracy. 24 (3): 18–32. doi:10.1353/jod.2013.0045.
March, Luke (2007). "From Vanguard of the Proletariat to Vox Populi: Left-Populism as a 'Shadow' of Contemporary Socialism". SAIS Review of International Affairs. 27 (1): 63–77. doi:10.1353/sais.2007.0013.
^Hartleb, Florian (2004). Rechts- und Linkspopulismus. Eine Fallstudie anhand von Schill-Partei und PDS [Right and left populism. A case study based on Schill Party and PDS] (in German). Wiesbaden. p. 162.
^Mudde, C. Antonio; Rovira Kaltwasser, C. (2013). "Exclusionary vs. inclusionary populism: comparing contemporary Europe and Latin America". Government and Opposition. 48 (2): 147–174.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
^Suiter, Jane (2017). "Ireland: The rise of Populism on the Left and Among Independents". In Toril Aalberg; Frank Esser; Carsten Reinemann; Jesper Strömbäck; Claes H. de Vreese. Populist Political Communication in Europe. New York and London: Routledge. p. 131. ISBN978-1-138-65480-8.
^Drinkwater, Michael (1991). The State and Agrarian Change in Zimbabwe's Communal Areas. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 93–96. ISBN978-0312053505.
^Fred Reinhard Dallmayr (199). Border Crossings: Toward a Comparative Political Theory. Lexington Books. p. 136. ISBN9780739100431. To provide an Islamic justification for their populist program, Mojahedin often utilized the euphemism coined by Shariati.
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