The Thinking Lab on Populism is dealing with one of the fastest growing phenomena in current European politics. The Lab members are working together to identify common features of so-called populist movements, to analyse the root causes of populism in Europe and to present solutions and policy recommendations to strategically tackle illiberal populism.



News

Populism Social Cohesion Interview

“The European Union is a victim of its own success”

Cas Mudde on the root causes of populism in Europe4 December 2017 | Benedikt Weingärtner
Cas Mudde on Populism in Europe and strategies against it.
© Left: Rio Gandara (Helsingin Sanomat) / Right: Leigh Phillips

Cas Mudde is one of the most renowned experts on political extremism and populism in Europe. He is Associate Professor of International Affairs at the University of Georgia and Researcher at the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo. In his interview for DIALOGUE ON EUROPE he talks about the structural reasons behind the rise of populist movements all over Europe, the failure of the traditional parties and why tax havens, unlike migration issues, are not part of the political agenda.

Populism Opinion analysis

Populism is not the problem

Why we should focus on values in political debate instead of style25 July 2017 | Hanno Burmester
"AfD Wahlkampfauftakt" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by strassenstriche.net

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.

Populism France Analysis

Security Pivot Towards a Police State in France

Populisms' Slippery Slope5 February 2017 | Félix Blanc
"Police Francaise - Policía francesa - F" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Oscar in the middle

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.

Populism Analysis

Populism in Eastern Europe

An analysis of Elena Marcela Coman21 January 2017
"Jobbik flags" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Leigh Phillips

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.

Populism

My Populism is Bigger than Yours

The Trajectory of Populist Movements in Europe, Reasons for Their Success and Reactions of Established Parties Analysis | Nuno Casimiro
"A European Union map composed entirely o" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by European Parliament

Mainstream parties seem to believe that refusing ideological attachments and claiming that the populists are “the others” will be enough for the citizens to recognize them as the ones offering providential solutions. The problem is that, while the gap between representatives and represented is not narrowed, between a soft populism and the real thing, dangerous “others” might take the place with rather scary alternatives.

Populism Spain Germany Analysis

Political Communication of Populist Parties: The cases of Podemos and AfD

The Digital Advantage and Social Media Authority of Populist Parties4 November 2016 | Elena García Mañes, Sophie Pornschlegel
"AfD Demonstration 30 August 2013 Marienp" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Metropolico.org, "Podemos logo _DDC1888" (CC BY 2.0) by Abode of Chaos, Modified from originals

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.

(more…)