© European University Saint Petersburg

Prof. Dr. Greg Yudin is a Professor of Political Philosophy at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, and Senior Researcher at the Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology at Higher School of Economics in Moscow. In March 2018 Yudin has delivered a keynote talk Dangerous Values and the Trap of Discourse of Values at a panel “Discourse of Values between Russia and Germany: What Went Astray?” at Hertie School of Administration, Berlin. In February 2016 he presented his recent research project Governing Through Polls: Putin’s Support and Political Representation in Russia in New York at a conference 'How to be Authoritarian?' held by Bard College. Among his other interests are political and economic anthropology and philosophy of human and social sciences. Currently he obtains a second PhD degree in Politics at The New School of Social Research in New York. He is also co-editing a special issue of the journal The Public on Russian public sphere.

Populism: Left-Wing Theory, Right-Wing Strategy?

The concept of populism is commonly invoked to explain the ubiquitous upsurge of the Right in the 21st century. The term is usually used in mainstream literature to refer derisively to a peculiar political style built on political cheating, irresponsibility, and exploiting the vulnerabilities of liberal democracy. However, besides this negative and derogatory meaning, populism has been theorized for decades positively as a distinct political logic, one that

becomes operative under the crisis of democracy and representation and relies on the ideas of hegemony and opportunity. Although this productive account of populism has been developed by the Left and influenced the movements fifty years ago, it is the right-wingers who have now seized the momentum to turn it into a functioning political strategy. Why would the Left allow the Right to play out a strategy from the Leftist playbooks instead of putting it to work itself? If the populist diagnosis of the impasses of liberal democracy is correct, is there still a room for left-wing populism in the 21st century?