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The rise of populism: from Le Pen to Trump with Cas Mudde (Science & Cocktails, 2017)

By March 1, 2021No Comments

Science & Cocktails | May 29, 2017

What is populism? How successful are populist parties in Europe? Is Trump a populist? What explains the recent success of populist actors? What is the relationship between populism and democracy?

The world seems to be going completely nuts and the origin for this cluster mess dates already back a few decades. All over Europe the political class seems to be shifting towards the extreme right and countries like Denmark, France, Hungary, Holland seem to increasingly become more adherent to populism tactics. The seeds for this turn, however, date back to Glistrup in Denmak and to Jean-Marie Le Pen in France and similarly in other countries. The prime-minister of Hungary is the living proof of the rise of the influence of the extreme right in European politics.

Populism was the word of 2016. From Brexit to Trump, journalists and pundits agreed that populism is on the rise and is shaking up western democracies. But what is populism and why is it so successful now? Cas Mudde will, on the basis of a clear definition, analyze the history, present and future of populism in western democracies, addressing both its causes and consequences. He will introduce some of the key populist actors, assess their electoral and political relevance, explain their success and analyze their political influence. He will argue that populism is an illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism and that it can be both a corrective and a threat to democracy.

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.