This essay looks at Ethiopian prime Minister Abiy and his Medemer philosophy through Laclau’s concept of the “empty signifier” in order to examine the discursive means through which the Prime Minister has upheld his high level of popularity even when political actions taken on behalf of his party seemingly contravened the very principles of his philosophy.
This article examines the use of populist performance as a political strategy, by the Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine, through a video analysis of his campaign events, music videos, and speeches. By identifying the key recurring elements in his strategy, it is demonstrated how populism is manifested through performance.
Populism has become a buzzword in popular and media discourses in recent years. Academic debates on the concept of populism—what it is and isn’t, where to look for it and its normative prescription—has been highly contested. From minimal definitions to vernacular descriptions to propositions to drop the concept all together, a considerable but disparate field of study has emerged.