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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2015

The Temptation of Populism in David Cameron’s Leadership Style


It may seem unusual to associate the widely-used concept of populism with the leadership of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Populism is, however, open to various interpretations and definitions and so easy to manipulate that it could apply to almost anything. Moreover, populism has so often been used to describe movements and groups critical of representative democracy, generating a ‘malaise’ (Mény and Surel, 2002: 21) or a ‘threat’ to democracy (Mudde and Kaltwasser, 2012), that it is has become difficult to conceive it as a new political practice in the hands of democratic governments. To accept what would appear to be a counter-natural association between populism and democracy, it is necessary to move beyond the endless debate on the meaning of populism and locate the word in present academic research on the rise of populism in Western democracies (Mény and Surel, 2002; Mudde and Kaltwasser, 2012). Examining the case of David Cameron’s leadership provides both a specific context and a basic framework for analysis (Mudde and Kaltwasser, 2012).


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hal-01332965 , version 1 (16-06-2016)


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Agnès Alexandre-Collier. The Temptation of Populism in David Cameron’s Leadership Style. Alexandre-Collier, Agnès and Chantal, François Vergniolle de. Leadership and Uncertainty Management in Politics, Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp.141--156, 2015, Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership, 978-1-349-56492-7 978-1-137-43924-6. ⟨hal-01332965⟩


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