All posts filed under: Peter Mair

Who predicted the rise of the populists? Part 4 – Peter Mair

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Democracy / Globalisation / Party System / Peter Mair / Politics / Populism

Looking at who predicted the victory of the populists before 2016 helps us sift through the deluge of ex post facto rationalisations. Fourth in this series is the Irish political scientist Peter Mair. Like Richard Rorty, Peter Mair’s politics were the Left but his critique now appears to anticipate views now more common on the Right. Mair believed European democracy to be in crisis. The rituals of democracy remained, but its substance had been lost. Popular democracy depends upon bottom-up decision-making – the […]

The breakdown of the left/right ideologies is the breakdown of representative democracy itself

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Democracy / Party System / Peter Mair / Politics

The breakdown of the left-right polarity in Europe is nothing less than the breakdown of the system of representative democracy itself Quantum physicists tell us the familiar world of three dimensions is simply an illusion. Their models contain any number of exotic spatial dimensions. The party political systems of the European democracies also evolved in a simple environment, but they are now faced with a similarly, unfamiliar multi-dimensional universe. European political systems long performed one […]

The Populism Paradox: why the success of mainstream parties creates the conditions for their own destruction

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Democracy / Globalisation / Network theory / Party System / Peter Mair / Politics / Populism

A cross Europe the mainstream parties that have dominated the continent for decades are fading. Their memberships are falling. Voter turnout is down. Those supporters they have retained are starved of enthusiasm. Meanwhile anti-system parties gain ever more vitality. The SNP in Scotland, UKIP in the UK, the FN in France go from strength to strength. Their simple messages calling for the repatriations of powers, together with their populist attacks on a ‘detached metropolitan elite’ are […]