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.
The first European Thinking Lab took place from 25-27 November in Lisbon. During the Summit, the contributors cooperated within their Thinking Lab and worked out brief policy proposals. Félix Blanc is engaged with the topic of a Security Pivot towards a Police State in France.
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.