Populists in Western Europe: From Periphery to Power
22 November, 2012
12:30 – 2:00 pm
For Western Europeans in the 1960s, populism was something that happened elsewhere. For those in the 1970s and 1980s, it was present, but destined to remain on the periphery of politics and quickly disappear. In the 1990s and at the beginning of the new century, populism was growing, but considered episodic and certainly unable to withstand the pressures of government. A decade later, the picture is quite different. Populists in many Western European countries have enjoyed unprecedented electoral success. Several have supported governments from outside. Others have been part of government. Some have even led them.
Nonetheless, due in part to their lack of respect for traditional standards of political behaviour and their being leader-dominated, there is still a tendency to view populists as transient abnormalities of our politics. This talk will examine the rise of populist parties inWestern Europeand argue that, while some may indeed have a short lifespan, others have established organizations and ideological offers which seem likely to ensure their continued presence. This is especially so at a time when the prospects for populism in European democracies have never been better.
Duncan McDonnell is Marie Curie Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. He is the co-editor of (Palgrave, 2008) and in recent years has published on the Northern League and . This year, he has co-edited the 2012 ‘Politica in Italia/Italian Politics’ yearbook. He and Daniele Albertazzi are currently completing a book entitled ‘Populists in Power’ which will be published by Routledge. This is based on three years of research in Italy and Switzerland funded by the Leverhulme Trust. His next article ‘Silvio Berlusconi’s Personal Parties’ will be published shortly in Political Studies. During his Marie Curie Fellowship, he is conducting a 2-year project funded by the European Union on populist party representation and organization.
Location: SoPHI Common Room, Level 8, Brennan McCallum Building The University of Sydney
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