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  • Who is who2017revised

    Rights statement: © John Benjamins 2017

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The “Establishment”, the “Élites”, and the “People”: Who’s who?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Language and Politics
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date27/06/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this paper, I discuss the attempt by all right-wing populist parties to create, on the one hand, the ‘real’ and ‘true’ people; and on the other, the ‘élites’ or ‘the establishment’ who are excluded from the true demos. Such divisions, as will be elaborated in detail, have emerged in many societies over centuries and decades. A brief example of the arbitrary construction of opposing groups illustrates the intricacies of such populist reasoning. Furthermore, I pose the question why such divisions resonate so well in many countries? I argue that – apart from a politics of fear ( Wodak 2015 ) – much resentment is evoked which could be viewed as both accompanying as well as a reaction to the disenchantment with politics and the growing inequalities in globalized capitalist societies.

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© John Benjamins 2017