What Have Populists Done for Us?

Hardback

What Have Populists Done for Us?

Exclusionary Populism in Power in Israel and Beyond

9781035311392 Edward Elgar Publishing
Dani Filc, Full Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Amit Avigur-Eshel, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Administration and Policy, Sapir Academic College, Israel
Publication Date: July 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03531 139 2 Extent: c 172 pp
This ground-breaking book goes beyond conventional arguments to explore how and why populists are able to hold power for long periods. It illustrates that exclusionary populist movements maintain power whenever they succeed in stabilizing social structures around a political project promoted as an alternative to the current hegemony.

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This ground-breaking book goes beyond conventional arguments to explore how and why populists are able to hold power for long periods. It illustrates that exclusionary populist movements maintain power whenever they succeed in stabilizing social structures around a political project promoted as an alternative to the current hegemony.

Dani Filc and Amit Avigur-Eshel employ a neo-Gramscian framework grounded in the distinct analytical concepts of ideology, historical blocs, and economic growth models to examine the long rule of Israel’s Likud party during 2009–2019. Exemplifying how public policies are crucial to exclusionary populists retaining power, they find that the combination of neoliberal and heterodox socio-economic policies and the exploitation of Israel’s export-led growth model to improve the material welfare of ''the people'', as well as deals struck with non-populist forces based on ideological commonalities were pivotal in Likud’s decade-long reign. Looking beyond Israel, Filc and Avigur-Eshel apply this analytical framework to successful exclusionary populist parties across Asia and Europe to emphasize the importance of understanding the interrelationship between populist historical blocs, their worldviews and growth models.

A pioneering study of populism, this book will appeal to students and scholars of political economy, political sociology, international and comparative politics, political parties, public policy, and governance. Policymakers and researchers interested in the relationship between populism and growth models will also find it beneficial.
Critical Acclaim
‘Filc and Avigur-Eshel offer a concise analysis of the Likud party''s right-wing governments in Israel. They employ the Gramscian concept of hegemonic project to decipher how Likud’s exclusionary populism succeeds in juggling neo-liberal growth policy and wide-spread social support, as well as to expose the inherent crisis tendencies involved. This is one of the most intriguing accounts of political sociology cum political economy that I have read in a long time.’
– Uri Ram, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
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