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Photo: “Election poster of Luxembourg general election, 2018 (ADR),” by GilPe licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International. Hue modified from the original.

Carls, Paul. “Approaching right-wing populism in the context of transnational economic integration: lessons from Luxembourg.” European Politics and Society (2021): 1-19.


What does right-wing populism look like in Luxembourg, a small European state whose economy heavily relies on strong European integration and foreign and cross-border labor? This article explores this question by looking at the Alternativ Demokratesh Reformpartei (ADR), Luxembourg’s version of a right-wing populist party. It studies the ADR’s discourse during three discursive events: the debate over a burka law (2014–2018), the 2015 Refugee Crisis, and Luxembourg’s 2015 constitutional referendum. Much of the ADR’s discourse is right-wing populist, but with two specificities: the ADR’s embrace of multiculturalism and its use of the issue of the national language to appeal to cultural and economic interests. Both of these specificities reflect into a distinctive concept of the Luxembourgish ‘people’. The Luxembourg case demonstrates the chameleonic nature or populism, or its ability to adapt to its local circumstances, in this instance even adopting features that contradict much of the thinking on right-wing populism.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.