Abstract / Description of output
This paper contributes to developing a management and organisation studies perspective on political organising by focusing on a) populism; b) the exercise of political power; and c) the organisation of politics. We address two questions: In what ways have English populist politicians in the 20th and 21st century utilised language along with other aspects of campaign organising to build and enhance their symbolic power? And: How do populist political organisations convert symbolic power into symbolic violence? Drawing on a range of concepts from Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology, most specifically his work on symbolic power, symbolic violence, political ontology, and the performativity of language, we conduct a comparative analysis of texts from four waves of right-wing English populism culminating in Brexit. We develop a three-step framework to explain the organisation of right-wing populism via what we term populist political methodology: 1) establishing the symbolic power of the leader and the message; 2) organisational power and the division of labour of domination; 3) reinforcing symbolic violence in targeted sections of society. Understanding how populist politics is organised can support us in resisting, challenging and disrupting right-wing populism, providing lessons for organisations campaigning against racism and xenophobia.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- organisational power
- populist political methodology
- political ontology
- symbolic power
- symbolic violence