Visions of popular sovereignty: Mapping the contested terrain of contemporary western populisms

Abstract
In this essay I investigate conceptual foundations of populist ideological attempts to decontest the language, symbols and ambitions of popular sovereignty. Using Michael Freeden's morphological approach to analysing ideologies, I argue that unpacking the conceptual basis of populist incursions into contemporary political narratives sheds important light on left?right contests over the nature of democracy. From this vantage point, we see that forces on the left and right contest the normative and policy implications of three key features in populism's normative democratic core: (1) the relationship between popular sovereignty and representation; (2) the nature of equality; and (3) the political economy of the conflict between ?the people? and elites
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