Pages: 176
Subject: Politics
Series: Beginner's Guides
Imprint: Oneworld


A Beginner's Guide

Simon Tormey

The essential guide to understanding what populism is, why it's flourishing and what we should do about it
9781786076137 (4 Jul 2019)
RRP £9.99 / US$14.95

The Book

Every day we hear that the rise of populism threatens democracy around the world, but is this really true? Did populism cause the current crisis, or is it the other way around?

To understand the state of our politics right now, we must get to grips with this contested concept.

Simon Tormey breaks down the defining aspects of populism, what sets it apart from other styles of politics, and what - if anything - we ought to do about it.

Additional Information

Subject Politics
Series Beginner's Guides
Pages 176
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Simon Tormey is Professor of Politics and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol. The author of many books and articles on contemporary politics, he regularly appears in broadcast and print media commenting on British and European politics.


‘In this provocative, well-written new book, Tormey argues that populism can be both a threat to democratic values and process, but equally a means for the expansion of democracy… Essential reading for those seeking to understand one of the most important, but often misunderstood, political phenomena of the twenty-first century.'

- Duncan McDonnell, Professor of Politics, Griffith University

‘An important dissenting voice in today's chorus of populist critics, Tormey casts populism in a new light, inviting readers to consider whether it might not be a threat to democracy but rather something democracy needs for its renewal.'

- Lisa Disch, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

‘The world is changing. Democracy is under threat. Simon Tormey's Populism: A Beginner's Guide provides a wonderfully sophisticated yet beautifully accessible guide to these changing times.'

- Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, and President of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom

‘While we all think we know what populism means, if we dig a little deeper we find ourselves lost in definitional problems and ambiguities… Tormey navigates through these…with admirable clarity and perception, drawing upon historical and contemporary examples of populist movements, and exploring key factors that explain their rise.'

- Saul Newman, Professor of Political Philosophy, Flinders University

Also by this author