Skip to main content

Photo: “Election 2018 in Hungary. Taken on the 8th of April, 2018, around 23.35. Bálna, Budapest. Orbán Viktor announcing the victory of the FIDESZ party.“, by Elekes Andor licensed under CC-BY-SA-4.0. Hue modified from the original

Drávucz, Renáta Ryoko. “Contemporary Populist Representation and Its Implications for Democracy: A Theoretical Assessment From a Realist Point of View.” In Contemporary Politics, Communication, and the Impact on Democracy, pp. 37-55. IGI Global, 2022.


This chapter aims to shed light on the connections between populism, democracy, and democratic theory by providing a theoretical assessment of contemporary populism and populist representation as an alternative form of political representation to party government or as a corrective of it. The chapter summarizes the conceptual background relating to democracies, populism, and contextual surroundings. Then, it proceeds to investigate how they relate to each other in present-day politics. The author argues that populism is a strategic political style that exploits the gap between the promise and the actual performance of democracies thus reflects on democratic reality. Hence, it embodies what realist democratic theory has argued for quite some time now about the nature of politics. Namely: voters are irrational, our notions of democracy are delusional and populist politicians seem to have realized it first…

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.