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Resurgence, Populism, and Politics ‘From Below’

This is an article for political nerds but has some interesting insights, especially for those of you who are involved in Citizens Uk and community organising, or in poverty truth commissions.



Abstract


Populist politics are an increasingly prominent feature of contemporary politics around the world. In settler colonies, Indigenous resurgence is also an increasingly important feature of political contestation. Both discourses involve questions of peoplehood, pluralism, and collective agency. The goal of this paper is to explore these phenomena side by side, and ask what they reveal about the present political conjuncture. I argue that both political projects involve a constructive element, as actors build spaces of political contestation beyond the state. In this way, each movement involves an often overlooked contest between politics ‘from above’ and ‘from below’. Ultimately, I conclude that the above/below distinction reveals important cleavages that are obscured by the traditional left/right distinction that structures much political analysis.

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