Nativists Are Populists, Not Liberals

William Margulies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern radical-right populist parties are often described as illiberal, in the sense of being authoritarian, hostile to pluralism, or opposed to "libertarian" postmaterialist ideas. Yet Takis Pappas has argued in these pages that some radical-right populist parties, which he describes as "nativist," espouse "liberalism for the natives." This paper contends that Pappas's categorization is faulty. It cannot distinguish supposedly liberal "nativist" parties from other far-right parties that also claim to defend liberalism. Nor do many of these parties consistently promote liberal values even for natives. Instead, these parties are mainly concerned with nationalizing liberal values to strengthen ingroup-outgroup boundaries and provide additional grounds for excluding Muslims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
JournalJournal of Democracy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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