A Politics of the People

Joel Pearce
The 2016 US presidential election saw Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both being described as “populists”, despite running for different parties and coming from different political traditions. This paper empirically assesses the validity of this claim by conducting computer-assisted thematic analysis of their speeches during the presidential primaries. It explores the puzzle of populism being associated with diverse political positions by mapping out the candidates’ discourse, finding that both used populist themes but in strikingly...
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