Populism, universalism och partikularism : Ernesto Laclaus rekonstruktion av populismbegreppet

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Södertörns högskola/Idéhistoria

Sammanfattning: In this study I search for the real understanding of the Lauclanian concept of ”populism” from both the viewpoint of William Connollys essentially contested concepts and the conceptual historian Reinhart Koselleck. My starting point for the analysis takes its inspiration from the more contemporary notion of ”constructing the social” but tries to focus on a result that can be free from the highly abstract discourse theory put forward by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. The result is a peculiar paradox in which the concept of populism reconstructed by Laclau not only is contested but contested in such way that even the meaning of the word could lose its contextual use in place of another – the political. At the same time, the concepts favorability through a more common usage (or in Koselleckian terminology, its more democratized meaning) must be acknowledged, and in relation to the leftist political parties that uses this theoretic, strategic and analytical conceptual category it instead becomes much clearer why its usage is applied but also favoured by Laclau. It could be said that it is the most effective concept in determining the strategic discursive landscape and to shape it in favour of a future left-wing populist movement. At the same time, the concepts claim of being more democratic is not entirely as convincing in regard to the signifier that must be as empty as possible to fulfill the populistic demands of its political subjects. This means that its value entirely comes from the political subjects meaningful projection, and in one way only can be said to engage with these subjects through the channeling of the already expected dissent and disaffection of the people behind the discursive and overdetermined identities.

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