"Populism and the People: Elitism, Authoritarianism and Libertarianism" - Book chapter by Dr. Marius Guderjan on the political and ideological orientation of the British government led by Boris Johnson.
News from Oct 09, 2023
Kirsten Forkert and Marius Guderjan (2023) "Populism and the People: Elitism, Authoritarianism and Libertarianism". In: Gesa Stedman and Jana Gohrisch (eds.) Affective Polarisation Social Inequality in the UK after Austerity, Brexit and COVID-19. Bristol University Press: https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/affective-polarisation
The chapter examines the political performance and ideology under Boris Johnson’s premiership. It aims to enlighten the causes and contradictions of the libertarian yet authoritarian populism governing the UK. Instead of living up to the populist ideals of people-centrism, anti-elitism and popular sovereignty, key members of government represent an elitism thriving on an affective polarisation within British society. Under Boris Johnson, trolling and misinformation have become a new standard in government communication, while the elite in power to has broken political conventions and claimed liberties for themselves which the vast majority of the British people do not enjoy. As both authoritarian and libertarian practices and policies have become ‘normalised’, the chapter focuses not only on the communication strategy and style of the Conservative Party under Johnson’s leadership, but also on the ideological bases that complement their populism.