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We, the People

The rise of populism in Europe


At a time in which the financial crisis, technology and austerity seem to have helped polarize public debate and reconfigure the policial arena, the political analyst and co-director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe Jordi Vaquer reflects on the growth of populism throughout the region and debates its implications with Diego Muro, a researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and Lecturer in International Relations for the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

The people and the elites. Natives and foreigners. The people at the top and the people at the bottom. In the aftermath of the financial crisis in Europe, politics seems to have become polarised around terms different than the traditional ideological division between left and right. The new populist thesis argues that, in the era of globalisation, the people have been betrayed by a corrupt political class, with no homeland and no scruples. In this conflict, leaders like Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders or Beppe Grillo claim that only they can represent the popular will, guarantee security and reclaim national sovereignty.

The event coincides with the presentation of the monograph Populism in Europe: From symptom to alternative, coordinated and published by the CIDOB.

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We, the People

The rise of populism in Europe

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