Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2023

26 Populists and citizens’ assemblies: Caught between strategy and principles?

From the book De Gruyter Handbook of Citizens’ Assemblies

  • Kristof Jacobs


This chapter examines the relationship between populism and CAs. It does so from the perspective of populist parties and that of populist citizens. For both types of actors I first develop a theoretical framework juxtaposing rational choice inspired factors to more principled ones. Afterwards, the framework is applied using novel data. Regarding populist parties, the framework is applied to the case of the French 2019 Climate CA; regarding populist citizens it is applied to three cases of participatory budgeting in the Netherlands. These studies highlight that there is a discrepancy between populist parties and populist citizens. Populist parties are only supportive when CAs deliver the outcomes they themselves want. Regarding populist citizens, the message is more optimistic. When they participate, they seem content and grade the event similar to non-populist citizens. Furthermore, they do not seem more motivated by a desire “to get what they want”.

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
Downloaded on 23.2.2024 from
Scroll to top button