Paolo Pombeni

Il populismo nel contesto del costituzionalismo europeo

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Following a path that goes from late 18th century France to the post World War II Gaullist experience, the essay interprets the concept of populism through the evolution of the history of European constitutionalism. The objective is twofold: to illustrate the indissoluble link between this concept and the way the representative mechanisms of the liberal- democratic tradition operate; and to show how it constitutes an aspect of the process of legitimisation of political power that, at least in the European context, has never materialized into the experimentation of an "integral populism". From this perspective, the starting point is represented by the definition of populism, intended not as people's claim to re-appropriate its sovereignty, but as refusal of the idea that such sovereignty must necessarily be mediated by any form of representation, which is a fundamental element of Europe's constitutional models.

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