Szente, Zoltan. “Populism and Populist Constitutionalism.” In Populist Challenges to Constitutional Interpretation in Europe and Beyond. Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND, 2021.
Populist constitutionalism is a kind of intermediate category between these two concepts and refers to the constitutional approach, aspirations, or activities of populism. The conceptualization of populism is difficult not only because it is a very abstract concept, but also because it signifies a phenomenon that does not fit, or fits only with difficulty, into other existing conceptual frameworks. Populism is not a recently discovered concept; its roots go back to the 19th century, and it was first used, perhaps, for the Populist Party in the United States and for the Narodnik movement in Russia at the end of that century. The debates on populism have also reached the constitutional discourse, recognizing that one of the distinguishing features of modern populism is its ‘constitutional project’, that is, the ambitions of populists to pursue constitutional changes to achieve their goals when they come to power.