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Photo: “Recibimiento en el Reina Sofía tras conocerse el resultado electoral del 20 de diciembre de 2015“, by Gmmr3 licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Hue modified from the original

Petithomme, Mathieu. “Is Podemos a Populist Party? an Analysis of Its Discourse and Political Strategy.” In The Faces of Contemporary Populism in Western Europe and the US, pp. 61-78. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2021.


On the basis of a thick qualitative study of Podemos’ political communication and strategy since its emergence in the Spanish party system in 2014, this article asks to what extent can it be characterized as a “populist party.” It shows that a populist discourse and strategy has been theorized and used by Pablo Iglesias and the party leaders to “dichotomize” the Spanish political space and allow the emergence of a new political alternative. However, while radical critiques against the elites, the political and economic systems have been activated, Podemos’ discourses and propositions have evolved through its institutionalization process. Thus, Podemos illustrates a typical case of protest party with a coalition potential, using both populism and normalization strategies.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.