A Resilient Hegemonic Project? The Successful Containment of Populism by Key Actors in the Danish Growth Model

Rune Møller Stahl*, Christoph Ellersgaard

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


In this article we show how key members of the Danish power elite have defended and advanced their political interests in the face of rising right populism. By utilising growth model theory, we identify the dominant interest and hegemonic project uniting a cross-class, export-oriented growth coalition. As this hegemonic project is deeply embedded in elite networks, growth coalition partners were able to cooperate with and integrate right populism into an electoral alliance. However, as real contradictions between populism and growth coalition became increasingly salient, key actors in the elite network eventually symbolically distances themselves from populists, marginalising them in the process. We conducted 37 semi-structured interviews with highly influential elite figures to identify the core tenets of the hegemonic project and their attitudes towards populism. By analysing the discursive construction of populism as political ally and adversary, combined with historical studies of political reforms, we show how vital issues of contention between the growth coalition and the populist agenda did not become high salience issues in public debate, thus allowing elites to dominate through quiet politics. Our study shows that elites’ strategies towards populism must be understood through the salience of the issues of contradiction between populists and growth coalitions.
Antal sider26
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedSASE 35th Annual Conference 2023: Socio-Economics in a Transitioning World: Breaking Lines and Alternative Paradigms for a New World Order - Windsor Florida Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien
Varighed: 20 jul. 202322 jul. 2023
Konferencens nummer: 35


KonferenceSASE 35th Annual Conference 2023
LokationWindsor Florida Hotel
ByRio de Janeiro