The rise of populism: from Le Pen to Trump

Media:  Talk   

16 May 2017

Byens Lys

Cas Mudde

Cas Mudde is a Dutch political scientist who focuses his studies on political extremism and populism in Europe. His research includes the areas of political parties, extremism, democracy, civil society and European politics. He is Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. He is the co-founder and convener of the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy. Homepage


Twin-Peaks mixed with vampire-like sound as in Only Loves Left Alive and Danish lyrics. Homepage

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.

Chill after this with some smoky drinks while Bæst drives the two baritone guitars, bass and heavy deep drums numbers with the arms of a freight train in the desert sun. Mixed with Twin Peaks-sounding synth and jangly mandolins, Bæst is a band that sounds as if True Widow and Amens Dunes were in a jam session together with vampires from Only Lovers Left Alive.

This lecture was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts and is part of a research project on Human Rights and Peacebuilding organised by Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and funded by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Entrance to the event is free. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00.

The talk: