21st Century European Populism: Boundaries of Inclusion and Exclusion
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What factors determine if a populist movement will bend ideologically left or right? Specifically looking at Europe, I investigate why populism takes left-leaning ideological manifestations in Southern Europe (Spain and Greece) versus the right-leaning variations of Northwestern Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany). I posit that inclusive populist movements tend to fall on the right of the political spectrum. All populist movements are centered on “the people”, which the populist claims to represent, in opposition to an enemy. Thereby, the degree of inclusion/exclusion in a populist movement is linked to who is identified as “the enemy”. Understanding who is identified as “the enemy” by a populist movement requires us to contextualize its fruition within a particular set of collective values. Different inculcations of populism are possible due to particularities in political values and attitudes which catalyze a unique cultural reflection. Southern Europe, through Occidentalism and its effect on political culture, has come to possess political values and attitudes that brought inclusive populist movements into power.