Thinking Lab on Populism
Das Progressive Zentrum
Hanno Burmester is Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum and a Berlin-based organizational developer. He is head of the project "Legitimation and self-effifacy: Impulses for the German party-democracy". Hanno has worked for several German political organizations and as investigative journalist. He has published numerous articles in print and online publications and is editor of a book on German federal politics.
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 helplessness of the left allows the triumph of the right. Five hypotheses on the election of Donald Trump
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.
On 28 June 2016, the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, together with the German Federal Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, officially launched the DIALOGUE ON EUROPE-project at the Europasaal of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. (more…)
The Thinking Lab on Populism is dealing with one of the fastest growing phenomena in current European politics. Well known in other parts of the world, such as Latin America, the concept of populism is still an unclear one. While many experts and journalists characterize very heterogenous political movements such as Podemos on the one hand, and far right protest movements like the German Alternative für Deutschland, as being populist, the Thinking Lab is benefiting from a broader view on the matter and will try to bring clarity into the debate.
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.