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.
In Europe we know that Portugal, France and Italy are the most unequal countries according to OECD household incomes. In addition to income inequality, inequality of opportunities may result from different types of discrimination, including discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, or religion. Widespread inequalities lead to the exclusion of minorities. Despite the fact that ethnic, cultural and religious diversity is a central feature and value of the European Union minority exclusion still persists in the EU.
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.
Thwarting the Political Cleavages of Western Europe – What We Can Learn from Populists. Elena Marcela Coman outlines the historic trajectory and specific traits of populist movements in Eastern Europe.
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?
Feeling the Bern or Making America Great Again: What we can learn from populists in the 2017 US electionsPopulist measures not only as a threat, but also as a potential for democracy within campaigning
Politics need emotions. Campaigns need charismatic leaders representing hope. They need to come up with viable alternatives to the status quo. Democratic politicians cannot stay on the safe side. They need to get out there, explain their approaches, and to find new ways of talking to the voters. They need to have the courage to oppose those Trumps out there.
Hanno Burmester, DIALOGUE ON EUROPE Co-Facilitator and Das Progressive Zentrum Policy Fellow argues within the debate magazine Tagesspiegel Causa that established parties should learn from populist parties’ successes.