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In defence of left-wing populism

Chantal Mouffe writes in The Conversation (30.4.16) about the challenges and crises facing representative democracies from populist reaction against neoliberal ‘consensus politics’. She argues that, in the current situation, political discourse needs a strong left-wing populism to speak against the dominating voices of the extreme political right.

‘We are witnessing a crisis of representative democracy in most European countries. As I argued in On the Political, this is the outcome of the “consensus at the centre” established under the neoliberal hegemony between centre-right and centre-left parties.

‘This post-political situation has led to the disappearance from political discourse of the idea that there is an alternative to neoliberal globalisation. This forecloses the possibility of agonistic debate and drastically reduces the choice offered to citizens through elections.

‘There are people who celebrate this consensus. They offer it as a sign that adversarial politics has finally become obsolete so that democracy can mature. I disagree.’

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