Governing Europe

By Jack Hayward; Anand Menon | Go to book overview

15 From Popular Dissatisfaction to Populism: Democracy, Constitutionalism, and Corruption

Yves Mény

The lack of confidence of citizens in their democratic institutions is not new. Among existing democratic systems there has always been dissatisfaction, in some periods or in some places. The twenty-year period between the two World Wars is a particularly dramatic illustration of this situation: most of the new democracies failed to consolidate and most of them had to give way to authoritarian or fascist regimes. Older democracies were also challenged by leftist social movements or extreme right and undemocratic parties. Even during the rosy period between the end of the Second World War and the 1973 oil price shock, dissatisfaction manifested itself in various forms: protest movements of all kinds, especially amongst the young (May 1968), and even the use of violence and terrorism (in Italy and Germany in particular). However, both in the 1920s and 1930s and in the post-war period, these manifestations of discontent with the working of the democratic system were taking place in a different background: many of these movements or anti-system parties were looking for an alternative to Western democracy. The belief that socialism was embodied in the Soviet Union or that 'strong' and nationalistic regimes would realize better the aspirations of the people was helping to build up a credible option for large groups of the population. Western democracies were seen either as unable properly to address the claims of the people or accused of being colonialist, imperialist, or a mere expression of capitalism in its most brutal form.

The competition between alternative models had many implications: in particular, traditional cleavages such as the left/right divide were shaken by an even more dramatic opposition between those parties favourable to the Western-type democratic regimes and those opposed to it (anti-system parties). However, during these periods, the existence of alternative and idealized forms of government does not explain fully the various crises of democracy. Apart from the external dimension ('there is somewhere a better form of government'), many challenges stemmed from the internal dysfunctioning and deficiencies of the democratic system itself. They were deliberately used by the opponents to the Western model as examples and illustrations of capitalist democracy's failure. But in most cases, the Western democracies were able to face the

-250-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Governing Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 488

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.