The Political Economy of Left-Wing Populism - social relations and the economic imaginary of Podemos

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Sociologi

Sammanfattning: Populism has become a political catchphrase across the world, spanning across the entire political spectrum in various forms. In Spain, the left-wing populist party Podemos is the most significant case, adopting a post-marxist perspective less focused on the economy than orthodox marxism. In light of this, this thesis examines their main economic program through use of Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis, in order to investigate their understanding of the economy and its social relations. The theoretical framework used is a Marxist and Polanyian understanding of social relations, through the Cultural Political Economy approach by Bob Jessop & Ngai-Ling Sum, a framework dedicated to understanding the discursive dimension of political economy using a concept called the economic imaginary. The research questions are therefore formulated with an aim to understand Podemos’ economic imaginary, the social actors and relations within it, as well as how the economic program can be linked to Podemos’ populist project. In short, the economic imaginary found in the program is understood by the researcher as a National-Popular Keynesian Welfare State, with an attempt to conciliate the social relations in the economy while integrating citizens into society. Regarding the connection between the populist project and the economic imaginary, this is seen as a consequence of the right-ward shift of political and economic discourse.

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