From Nation-State Populism to National-Populism

  • Guy Hermet
Part of the The CERI series in Comparative Politics and International Studies book series (CERI)


Scholars conventionally identify the first historical manifestations of populism in the Russian intellectual Populism of the late 1840s, particularly in the thought of Herzen and Bakunin. Although this consensus is hardly disputed, it has the disadvantage of considering the concept from the moment the word came into use instead of the actual emergence of the political practice that preceded it. This convention even reveals repression of an embarrassing past, a sort of original sin committed by the modern state and democracy that has to be erased from memory. Nationalism and populism were in fact blended in the genesis of the nation-state and the democratic regimes that grew out of it. For this reason it is tempting to forget that the modern model of patriotism—republicanism in France—originally issued from a national-populist type of socialisation process. Would it not be better, then, to ignore this founding episode and stigmatise only the national-populism of the Flemings, the Croats, the Serbs or the Bosnian Muslims of today? Otherwise, the only answer is to revisit ethnopopulism in a more retrospective manner.


Popular Sovereignty False Friend Civic Identity National Sentiment Ethnic Nationalism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales, Paris 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Hermet

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