Populism is everywhere these days. Not only as a phenomenon but also as a topic in political discourse. Yet, the closer you look at it, the more you will realize that populism is quite a messy term. It signifies everything from an unease towards dissent, to the fear of a weakened democracy. More importantly, once you get a grip on how you define the term you will realize that populism may be destructive and inflammatory but is not the real problem. It is mostly a symptom for fundamental conflicts in society.
Tony Blair’s call to spirits to rise up from the deep to throw off Brexit was worthy of Owen Glendower’s faith in his magical powers. So too is the reply that Shakespeare gave Hotspur: ‘Why so can I or so can any man. But will they come when you do call for them?’ Blair’s cosmopolitan audience showed there are people in the City of London welcoming his call to remain in the European Union. But his talk gave no hint of how troops raised in the Square Mile could successfully capture Parliament. (more…)
Internal controls are a smarter modern way of controlling immigration and should be examined carefully before a unilateral Home Office decision – almost certainly unworkable – turns Article 50 into a train crash.
The helplessness of the left allows the triumph of the right. Five hypotheses on the election of Donald Trump
How come the “celebrity maverick” has proven so successful with his unconventional, violent and vile approach? Why does Duterte’s populism attract so many voters and enabled him to become President?
The unexpected happened and we are still searching for an answer why it happened and what might be the adequate response. This essay attempts to look for the reasons of the current success of populists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and to face the challenge that is produced by this convergence.
For a few years now, Western liberal democracies have seen the rise in populist parties on the far left and on the far right of the political spectrum, while mainstream parties do not seem to convince dissatisfied voters any more. Is populism an alternative to traditional left and right wing political parties, as most of them pretend to be?
The Spanish party Podemos and the German “Alternative for Germany” could not be, apparently, more opposed. However, there is one thing which brings them together: They both successfully use digital communication to reach their electorate in new, unmediated ways.