Political Science essay

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I have attached all the necessary readings, guidelines and rubric for this assignment. Please answer the question below according to the attached documents.

Prompt: Are the decline of social democratic parties and the rise of populist parties related? Explore and discuss both agency-based explanations and systemic explanations.

Understanding the rise of the populist establishment blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2018/07/04/understanding-the-rise-of-the-populist-establishment/ July 4, 2018 Studies of populism have traditionally focused on the politics of opposition, such as protest movements and the campaigns of smaller parties. But as Zsolt Enyedi notes, recent election results have demonstrated that populist parties cannot only win power, but also show a surprising level of resilience when they enter government. He argues that populism can no longer be regarded simply as a symptom of the dysfunction of institutions: populists need to be appreciated as institution builders. Populism – whether conceived as ideology, organisational strategy, a form of mobilisation, or discourse – is typically analysed in the context of protest movements and minor parties. Populist government receives less attention, and if it does, the discussion tends to be based on ideal-types or on the extrapolation of trends observed within the opposition circles of liberal democracies. Now that we can see populists in power in an increasing number of countries, we need to reconsider the anti-establishment nature of populism. The two expressions, that is ‘populist’ and ‘anti-establishment’, are often used as synonyms, even in the context of those Latin American countries in which presidents frequently campaign on an anti-establishment ticket. The association between the two concepts is even stronger in Europe and in the US, where populist forces used to be marginal and oppositional. Well, they are no more. From Italy to Hungary, or from Poland to the United States, we now see how populists in government translate their ideas into policies. While removing anti-elitism from the definition of populism would deprive the term of much of its analytical value, we need to take some of the caveats more seriously than in the past. First, since typically the populist elements are part of a larger ideological package, the undifferentiated rejection of all elites is rare. Second, the veneration of the people, often considered as a hallmark of populists, can coexist with deep scepticism concerning their competence (Trump famously wondered how stupid the people of Iowa can be). Even more importantly, the negative, transitory, disruptive and insurgent character of populism is more a product of historical happenstance than a consequence of the populist DNA. After the Second World War, populists faced a largely content and deferential electorate in much of the developed world. The talent of their leaders, their organisational capacity or their internal discipline fell short of the challenges they needed to meet, and therefore they could not reach much further than to temporarily disrupt the well-oiled machinery of welfare states and liberal democracies. 1/3 Viktor Orbán, Credit: European People’s Party (CC BY 2.0) Today the citizens opposed to the mainstream liberal-democratic agenda on economic and political integration, on migration or on the way minority-concerns must be treated in the mass media, constitute a support base that is large enough to make the populist strategy of taking over government viable. The viability of the enterprise attracts the type of people that populists missed so far: donors, campaign managers, lawyers, and in general government insiders who know how much of the liberal regime was real, backed up by actual commitments and resources, and how much of it was simply an informal and shallow elite consensus; from the point of view of the technocrats of populism: hot air. Populist power, to the extent it stays democratic, is fragile, because of its inexperience and/or unwillingness to aggregate partial social interests and because of its opposition to the preexisting practices of governance. But the inhibitions that constrain other political actors from using norm-breaking methods for keeping governmental power do not apply to populists, and therefore they can be surprisingly resilient in office. Naturally, populists need to change once in government. Primarily, they need to redefine the opponent so that the actual government and the parliamentary majority are excluded from the definition. The alternatives are many: international actors, foreign nations, social and cultural elites, Freemasons, Jews, business elites, the deep state, European bureaucracy, etc. There is no shortage of powerful actors against whom a national prime minister or president can be presented as an underdog. And since in the fight against such Goliaths the populist politician needs all the support he can get at home, the hierarchical and punitive aspects of domestic governance inevitably need to be enhanced. The established position of populist parties also means that their supporters will change. It is customary, for example, to measure populist attitudes through negative sentences about politicians. But in countries governed by populists, the opponents of the populists are more 2/3 likely to agree with such statements. Researchers need measurement tools that are sensitive to how the populist establishment defines its enemies in order to understand why people keep supporting such governments. The Hungarian and the Polish cases show that effective and relatively stable populist governance requires the frequent change of specific rules of politics and business and the creation of an uneven playing field through the carefully calibrated redistribution of resources. Both regimes have repressive elements, but they do not imprison critical citizens, do away with freedom of speech or abolish the formal structures of liberal constitutionalism. They preserve their populist heritage by using a Manichean discourse to rally the people against the ‘foreignhearted’ factions of the elites and, whenever possible, by weakening the mechanisms that could constrain the parliamentary majority. This discourse is compatible with responsible fiscal policies and effective law-and-order measures. It is also important to acknowledge that while the antagonism of the populist establishment to constitutional democracy and to the division of power is undeniable, its hostility towards party pluralism is less obvious. Sure, there are many instances when the populists in government speak as if they were identical with the people but even more often they acknowledge that they exist in a legitimately fragmented political space. Fidesz and PiS (or AKP in Turkey and PAIS in Ecuador) originally won their power through fair party competition, and although subsequently they invested considerable energy into making this competition less fair, they are comfortable with the practices and rituals of electoral competition. The very fact that there are examples of populists operating and reforming states in an systematic fashion casts doubts on those approaches in the literature that emphasise the anti-institutional and un-institutionalised character of populism. Populism can no longer be regarded simply as a symptom of the dysfunction of institutions. Populists need to be appreciated as institution builders. Please read our comments policy before commenting. Note: This article gives the views of the author, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics. _________________________________ About the author Zsolt Enyedi – Central European University Zsolt Enyedi is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Central European University. His recent publications on this topic include contributions to the edited volumes European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession , Absorbing the Blow: The Impact of Populist Parties on European Party Systems , and Trumping the Mainstream: The Conquest of Mainstream Democratic Politics by Far-Right Populism, as well as articles in the Journal of Political Ideologies, Problems of Post-Communism, and the Journal of Democracy. 3/3
News idea.int/news-media/news/rise-populist-and-nationalist-parties-europe-how-break-trend Austrian People's Party leader, Sebastian Kurz, talking to media Image: Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres Traditional European parties, both on the right and left side of the political spectrum are increasingly losing support to newer, populist or nationalist parties. Following similar examples from Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and France, the recent Austrian and German elections are a case in point. The question is: why is this happening now and can traditional parties recover? Unlike 2005, the results of Austria’s general elections last Sunday, were received with neither shock nor outrage, as they only seem to confirm the trend of populist and nationalist parties gaining ground in European elections. Although the official winner was the conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and its young leader, Sebastian Kurz, The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) were entrusted with 27.4 per cent of the vote. Similarly in Germany, Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Party (CDU) won the September elections to the German 1/3 Bundestag. At the same time, the CDU also had one of their worst elections ever, with their support radically shrinking by almost 7.4 per cent, from 34.2 per cent to 26.8 per cent. The Social Democratic Party did almost as badly, losing 5.2 per cent of their vote, despite a promising start to their campaign. Many argue that it was actually the “Alternative für Deutschland”, the recently established right-wing nationalist, populist party that won the elections. With 12.6 per cent of the votes, they didn’t just secure a first-time presence in the parliament, they also received a relatively strong mandate in one of Europe’s most influential national decision-making bodies. Following similar developments in Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway and Finland, the question arises: why are traditional, historically stable parties losing voters to populist or nationalist parties, why now, and can they recover? Around the world, political parties are among the least trusted institutions in society and many citizens question whether they still can represent them and handle their societies’ current problems. Particularly in Europe, this growing distrust and dissatisfaction has contributed to the rise of extremist parties or movements . In the Global State of Democracy , to be launched in November, International IDEA describes the changing nature of political parties and the crisis of representation as one of the main challenges to democracy today. There are tree main factors contributing to the rise of populist and nationalist parties in Europe. First, the global nature of current challenges and crises, such as increased migration and an unprecedented influx of refugees, changes in the labour market due to technological advancements, increased socio-economic inequalities and globalisation have left traditional political parties with little policy control on a national level. Problems that previously could be solved on a country level are now more difficult to overcome due to their transnational character and the intricate and interdependent decision-making systems between nations. As a result, many political parties are seen by the public as being unable or unwilling to solve the pressing problems of the day, or even worse, acknowledge them. This perceived lack of political decision-making and political vacuum has given space to populist, nationalist or single-issue political forces that some citizens view better represent them, their true problems and concerns. It is important for many traditional parties to engage in soul-searching to understand how they lost touch with their supporters. Second, the rise of both perceived and real socio-economic inequalities , following the latest financial and economic crisis, unbalanced globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution. Outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries, an aging population, increased unemployment and technological advancements requiring highly skilled professionals have widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Even in countries like Sweden, traditionally a symbol of socio-economic equality, recent years have seen a widening income gap, which has contributed to an increased perception of a divided society. The nationalist, right-wing party, the Sweden Democrats, quickly capitalized on this sentiment, and by linking it to migration, managed to attract both traditionally left-wing and right-wing voters . Similarly in France, Marine Le Pen’s Front National used increased socio-economic inequality as one of her main arguments against the effectiveness of traditional parties, thereby profiling herself as pro ‘the 2/3 people’ and against the establishment. Traditional political parties should examine what they have done to either increase socio-economic inequalities or to reduce them, for example through inclusion and fiscal policies. Third, some new populist political parties and movements often start and gain support by being predominantly single-issue parties: some are against migration, some against globalisation, and others against the EU. By doing so, they can easily attract and channel people’s dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. In contrast, established parties have, at least in theory, sought to provide a complete set of political solutions for society, often guided by an ideological conviction. In today’s society where opinions and solutions are sometimes expressed in 140 characters, echo chambers and single-issue interest groups, the comprehensive programmes of political parties have proven to deter rather than attract voters. For traditional political parties to regain citizens’ trust and stop losing voters to extremist or populist parties and movements, the Global State of Democracy puts forward four themes: increased socio-political inclusion; greater efforts to reduce inequalities in party membership and representatives; the return to a fact-based dialogue between decision-makers and the electorate; and increased responsiveness to the electorate between elections. By focusing on these, traditional political parties may be able to create the necessary conditions to overcome the crisis of representation and, in the long run, contribute to stable and more resilient democracies. 3/3
Understanding the Global Rise of Populism medium.com/@lseideas/understanding-the-global-rise-of-populism-27305a1c5355 LSE IDEAS February 12, 2018 LSE IDEAS Strategic Update by Michael Cox LSE IDEAS Feb 12 This is an updated version of a paper originally presented to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on 31 May 2017, which appeared in Volume 28 of Irish Studies in International Affairs. The Spectre of Populism “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies” wrote Karl Marx in 1848. Today, it would seem that there is another very different spectre haunting Europe. it is not communism — that has been consigned to that proverbial dustbin of history — but another dangerous ‘ism’, populism. Of course there have been varieties of populism in the past. Russia had its own species during the 1870s and 1880s, a similar though politically less radical version of populism grew up in the United States during the 1890s and reappeared in different iterations several times thereafter (McCarthyism was in its own way a populist revolt against liberalism), and then 1/9 there were the many varieties of populism which I was told as a student were the main problem in Latin America during the post-war years. So in some regards the study of what is known as populism is not new. Indeed, I can well recall reading my first book on the subject in 1969 when I was studying politics, and that was a rather fine LSE study edited by the very great duo of Ernest Gellner and Ghita Ionescu entitled Populism: Its Meanings and National Characteristics. So we might say there is nothing new here. But that would be wrong — for clearly there is something rather significant new happening today. For one thing the populist problem (if that’s what it is) appears to have migrated towards Europe where it did not have much of a hold before; and for another it has assumed a much more widespread form. Whereas previous populisms were specifically national in character, this new populism has assumed a more international form. Indeed, if we listen to most European leaders today it would appear to have become the political challenge of our age. Former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, not a man to mince his words, has talked of a rising tide of “demagogic populism” which if not dealt with frontally and decisively could easily threaten the whole European edifice. A Chatham House report came to much the same conclusion in 2011. “The trend of rising support for populist extremist parties”, its author wrote, “has been one of the most striking developments in modern European politics” (1) — one which not only poses a challenge to Europe alone but to democracy itself. Who is a populist? But is this just a European phenomenon? Clearly not. Across the Atlantic in the USA, a similar if not exactly identical dragon emitting all sorts of unpleasant and noxious sounds has arisen in the shape of Donald Trump, one of the very few billionaires in modern history who also lays claim to being a “man of the people”. But billionaire or not this quite extraordinary political phenomenon, a combination of Gatsby and Howard Hughes with a dash of Randolph Hearst thrown in for good measure, has delivered “shock and awe” in equal amounts. Indeed, by tapping into popular discontent in what Gavin Essler termed twenty years ago the “United States of Anger”(2), he has shaken the US establishment (not to mention their European partners) to their very core by saying things one is not supposed to say in polite company. Moreover, it was not just Trump, you will recall, who railed against the elites and the powerful during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders may term himself a socialist. And he could never have said many of the appalling things which Trump said. But some of his targets — most obviously the corporations whom he claimed had sold the American worker short and the Wall Street financiers — were not such dissimilar enemies to those identified by Trump. Hillary may have won the Democratic nomination in the end. But Sanders inspired his supporters in ways she never did. 2/9 But if Sanders and Trump together can be classified as a populists then who, one wonders, is not now a populist? And where do the ideological fault lines lie? Should Jeremy Corbyn not also be defined as a populist? After all, he claims to speak on behalf of the ‘many’ rather than the ‘few’. But then so too does Mrs May who in her rush to win over white working class voters has talked quite volubly of governing in favour of the ‘left-behinds’ and the ‘just about managing’ in order to make Britain a country that works for everyone and not just the rich and powerful. Yet this has also been the dominant narrative of such political parties as Syriza in Greece, The Five Star movement in Italy, and Podemos in Spain — and all three of those are on the left. This cannot be said of the National Front in France of course, but there is no more rampant populist in Europe today than Marine Le Pen, who has campaigned against the European Union and its twin, “rampant globalisation”, both of which have in her words been “endangering” French “civilisation.” Indeed, while the successful former banker Macron made his appeal to the better educated in prosperous cities like Lyon and Toulouse, Le Pen spent most of her time campaigning in the run-down towns of the north east, speaking to workers whose parents (if not they themselves) had once voted Communist. Understanding Populists Populism would thus seem to defy easy political pigeon-holing. But on one thing most writers on the subject seem to be united. They don’t much like it and have tended to approach the subject with a mixture of enormous surprise — who amongst them predicted Brexit and Trump in 2016? — mixed in with a strong dash of ideological distaste. This bias has not gone unnoticed of course. Indeed, in a piece in MoneyWeek authored by John Stepek, he made the entirely fair point that as far as he could make out “the bulk of opinion columns” dealing with populism tended to fall into two main categories: “sneering or patronising”. (3) The controversial sociologist Frank Furedi was more scathing still. Populism, he argued, had virtually become a term of abuse directed against anybody critical of the status quo. Worse, it implied that the revolt facing the West today was not a legitimate response to deep seated problems but was rather the problem itself. (4) This was clearly the conclusion arrived at in one influential book on the subject. Populists may claim to talk in the name of the people, argued Jan-Werner Muller in his well-reviewed study What is Populism (5)? But one should not be deceived. When populists actually assume power, he warned, they will create an authoritarian state that excludes all those not considered part of the proper “people”. Beware the populists therefore. They may talk the democratic talk. But hidden behind all that rhetoric is a dangerously anti-democratic impulse. This antagonism to populism may be understandable given that so much of what some populists say is deeply concerning from a liberal perspective. Moreover, as their critics have legitimately pointed out, their policies can be — and have proven to be — deeply disturbing. Still we face a quandary. On the one side there are the analysts of populism who tend in the main to look at the phenomenon all the time holding their noses as if there were a bad smell in the 3/9 room. On the other, there are millions of very ‘ordinary people’ out there who actually vote for such movements. If nothing else, it says something about the state of the West when you have the overwhelming bulk of public intellectuals lining up one side to critique populism, some more fairly than others to be sure, and millions of their fellow citizens voting in their droves for parties and individuals of which most experts and academics appear to disapprove. Trump may not be my cup of tea (or yours) but he did after all win the US presidential election. Yet ‘we’ seem to despise him and those who voted for him. Brexit was not my preferred option, but it gathered more votes than Remain and did so because it tapped into something important. My point here is a simple but an important one. We do not have to like or agree with populists. And we should not forget our role as critic. But we should at least try and distance ourselves from our own political or ideological preferences, and try and move beyond moral outrage at something so many of us might not like and instead seek to understand what is happening here. Because something clearly is. And what is that something? We should not exaggerate. Nor should we conclude that the world we have known is about to collapse. It is not. But the tectonic plates are shifting. The mood across the West is turning sour. Many millions of people are obviously very unhappy with the old order and have expressed their alienation by voting against the establishment in very large numbers. What is Populism? But what then is populism? The answer to this simple question is by no means clear. Populism reflects a deep suspicion of the prevailing establishment; that this establishment in the view of most populists does not just rule in the common good but conspires against the people; and that the people, however defined, are the true repositories of the soul of the nation. Populists also tend in the main to be nativist and suspicious of foreigners (though this is more likely to be found on the right than the left). More often than not they are sceptical of the facts as provided to them by the establishment press, and in most cases (and again this is truer of the right than the left) they don’t much like intellectuals. Nor in general do they like big cities and the metropolitan types who happen to live in them. They are (to use a term made popular by David Goodhart) the ‘somewheres’ — that is to say people who want to be part of somewhere as opposed to those who are the ‘anywheres’. (6) Indeed, the fault line in Britain today he argues (and the same might be true in many other Western countries) is between those who come from Somewhere: people rooted in a specific place or community, usually a small town or in the countryside, socially conservative, often less educated, and those who come from Anywhere: footloose, often urban, socially liberal, university educated and who tend to feel at home nearly everywhere. But it is the somewheres we have to understand, for it is they after all who constitute the real basis of what he sees as the populist revolt. What has caused the rise in populism? 4/9 What has caused this surge of support for populism? There are at least three competing narratives. 1.) One was not so long ago provided by Moises Naim, editor of the magazine Foreign Policy. Populism has to be taken seriously he agrees. But it has no intellectual coherence. It is merely a rhetorical ‘tactic’ that demagogues around the world have always used, and will continue to use, to gain power and then hold on to it. As Naim puts it: “The fact is that populism is not an ideology. Instead, it’s a strategy to obtain and retain power. It has been around for centuries, recently appearing to resurface in full force, propelled by the digital revolution, precarious economies, and the threatening insecurity of what lies ahead.” (7) This however does not make populism any the less dangerous. Indeed, populism is invariably divisive, thrives on conspiracy, finds enemies even where they do not exist, criminalises all opposition to them, plays up external threats, and more of than not insists that its critics at home are merely working for foreign governments. Yet one would be wasting one’s time — he implies — seeking some deeper cause for this particular phenomenon. 2.) A second — more influential — view is that populism in its modern iteration is a search for meaning in what Tony Giddens earlier termed a ‘runaway world’ of globalisation — a world which according to Giddens at least is “shaking up our existing ways of life, no matter where we happen to be” Moreover, this world, says Giddens, is emerging in “an anarchic, haphazard, fashion….fraught with anxieties, as well as scarred by deep divisions and a feeling that we are all “in the grip of forces over which we have no control”. (8) Indeed, not only do we have no control. Because of the speed and depth of the changes across traditional frontiers, many citizens feel as if the world is not just passing them by but undermining their settled notion of identity born in more stable , more settled times. This loss has been felt by everybody. But it has been experienced most by an older cohort of white people who simply want to turn the clock back to a time when the people in their towns looked like them, sounded like them and even had the same traditional loyalties as most of them: an age in other words when there were fewer immigrants and even fewer Muslims living amongst them. Globalisation and socio-economic factors in this account obviously play a role, as Giddens makes clear. But according to this narrative at the heart of the modern populist problem is not so much economics as identity and meaning driven by a set of inchoate, but nonetheless key questions about who I am, what I am, and do I still live in my own country surrounded by people who share the same values and allegiances? 3.) There is however a third way of understanding populism. And this argues that modern populism is less the result of an identity crisis as such and much more the result of what the Indian economist (now adviser to Indian Prime Minister Modi) Arvind Subramanian has termed “hyperglobalisation”. (9) This latest form of globalisation he notes began slowly in the 1970s, accelerated rapidly in the 1980s, took off in earnest in the 1990s, and continued to accelerate thereafter — until, that is, the crash of 2008. For years the results of this thirty year headlong drive towards the future only seemed to be positive and beneficial. Indeed, according to the 5/9 many defenders of globalisation, the new economic order generated enormous wealth, drew in once previously closed economies, drove up the world’s GDP, encouraged real development in countries that had for years been poor, and most important of all in terms of human welfare, helped reduce poverty too. Not surprisingly India, China and the developing countries loved this new world order. They were its beneficiaries. But for the West more generally it has through time created all sorts of downside problems. Wealth became ever more concentrated in the hands of the few, as shown by Thomas Piketty (10). Middle class incomes stagnated. Meanwhile, many of the working class in western countries found itself being driven out of work either by jobs going elsewhere or by a rush of cheap imported goods largely coming from China. And to add to their economic woes immigration undercut the price of their labour. Thus what may have been great for the corporations and the consumer — not to mention the Chinese — turned into an economic tsunami for the traditional bastions of labour. Wider Causes of Populism The impact of neoliberalism? A crucial component part of this ‘materialist’ interpretation of populism has more recently been provided by James Montier and Philip Pilkington. They do not deny the fact that globalisation has important downsides. On the contrary globalisation is very much part of the reason for populism. But they develop the argument even further by insisting that what has led to the very real crisis the West is not just globalisation in the abstract but what they more precisely term ‘a broken system of economic governance’. This system which they define as “neoliberalism” arose in the 1970s and has been characterised since by four ‘significant economic policies’ only one of which they identify as globalisation, the other three are: “the abandonment of full employment as a desirable policy goal and its replacement with inflation targeting…; a focus at the firm level on shareholder value maximization rather than reinvestment and growth…; and the pursuit of flexible labour markets and the disruption of trade unions and workers’ organisations.” (11) Taken together this new neoliberal order, they believe, has not only skewed the balance towards capital and away from labour. The regime it has created has also given rise to lower inflation, lower growth rates, lower investment rates, lower productivity growth, increasing wealth and income inequality, diminished job insecurity, and a seriously deflationary bias in the world economy. Moreover, instead of the 2008 crisis undermining this order, it has only made things much, much, worse. And given all this, we should not be so surprised that there has been a backlash in the form of populism. The only surprise perhaps is that it did not happen earlier. The End of Communism 6/9 Of course one does not have to pick and choose between these various narratives. All contain some element of truth. Yet in my view they also leave some important parts of the story out. One thing they leave out — or perhaps do not stress enough — is the enormous impact long term which the failure of communism and the collapse of the USSR has had, and still has, on the world we live in. Before 1989 and 1991 there seemed to be some kind of balance in the world: some built-in limit to the operation of the free market. However, by the 1990s, all this had been swept aside. 1989–1991 also led in my view to a high degree of hubris and over confidence in the West. Anything was now possible; and even if it caused pain to some, this was a price worth paying for the general good; and anyway there was now no serious opposition. Or any alternative. So one could press on regardless. Nor did we quite figure out what it might mean for the West of massive low wage economies like China joining the world market club. Many economists will no doubt tell you, and do, that free trade is always a good in the long term. Ricardo said so, Adam Smith said so, Keynes said so, even Milton Friedman said so. So it must be for the best. Moreover, if jobs have been lost in the EU and the USA this, we are told, has little to do with free trade and more with new labour saving technologies. In fact, all those manufacturing jobs in Europe and the US would have had to go anyway because of technology and automation. But there is ample evidence to suggest a rather different story: that in fact millions of jobs have been lost in the West because of new emerging economies joining in the game. It is not merely a nationalist myth. Either way, one should not have been surprised when politicians like Trump and his populist equivalents in Europe launched their tirades against globalisation and gathered in the votes. Powerlessness But it is more than just about economics. I would argue that populism is very much an expression in the West of a sense of powerlessness: the powerlessness of ordinary citizens when faced with massive changes going on all around them; but the powerlessness too of western leaders and politicians who really do not seem to have an answer to the many challenges facing the West right now. Many ordinary people might feel they have no control and express this by supporting populist movements and parties who promise to restore control to them. But in reality it is the established political parties, the established politicians and the established structures of power as well which are equally powerless. Powerless to stop the flow of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. Powerless to control the borders of their own nation states. Powerless when faced with a terrorist threat. Powerless to prevent offshoring and tax avoidance. And powerless to reduce unemployment to any significant degree across most of the Eurozone. Now this might have been finessed but for two other factors: one, quite clearly was the 2008 financial crisis. As suggested above, this not only delivered a major blow to western economies, the EU in particular; it also undermined faith in the competence of the establishment from the bankers to the economists at the LSE. Who after 2008 would ever believe the experts again? Or think they might be on your side. The other factor here was a series of major setbacks in the field of foreign policy ranging from Iraq to Libya. These not 7/9 only did enormous damage to the Middle East but exposed the West and western leaders to the charge of being incompetent and lacking in strategic nous. It was no coincidence of course that one of the themes Trump returned to time and again was the Iraq war — a clear demonstration in his view that the ‘establishment’ simply could not be trusted with America’s security. Global Power Shifts Finally, I wonder too how much the widespread notion that there is a great power shift now taking place in the international order has not also contributed to the rise of populism in the West? After all, for the last few years we have heard the same mantra being uttered by the bulk of our so-called public intellectuals: namely, that the ‘rest’ viewed here as either Asia, China or that interesting combination known as the BRICs will sometime soon be running the world. As I have argued elsewhere, this view of an enormous power shift leading to either a postAmerican, post western or even a post- liberal world order has been much exaggerated. Nevertheless, it has become for many the new truth of our age; almost the common sense of our times. And it has had consequences, intended or otherwise, and one of these has been to make many people living in the West feel deeply uncertain about their future. This in turn has made many of them look to those politicians and movements who say they will stand up for the West; or, in the American context, make America great again. Moreover, the view that a power shift was or is underway has also helped those in the UK make the case for Brexit. Indeed, in the UK the argument that the EU in particular was in terminal decline, and that one had to look to other parts of the world economy — China and India most obviously — clearly played an important role in mobilizing the case for Brexit. Do populism pose a threat to globalisation? To what degree however does populism pose a serious threat to globalisation? The simplest answer to this is not as much some alarmists would lead you to believe — at least that is what the ‘facts’ tell you if you measure globalisation by such indicators as cross-border financial flows, international tourism, and foreign direct investment. By any measure, the world is not de-globalising. Nor is it likely to do so as long as its five biggest economic actors (the European Union, the United States, China, India, and Japan) continue to support policies which favour more integration not less, more extensive supply chains not fewer, and see continued advantage economically by being part of a world market. To this degree the forces in favour of globalisation would still appear to be far stronger than those pitted against it. Globalisation may still be secure. However, the case for it is no longer being made with anything like the same confidence we found ten or fifteen years ago. And if the unpicking of what Simon Fraser has termed “the pro-globalisation orthodoxy of the post-Cold war period” (12) continues, then we could very well find ourselves facing even more challenges to the liberal economic order. The populist backlash, one suspects, still has a long way to run. LSE IDEAS is the LSE’s foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it. 8/9 References & Footnotes About the Author Professor Michael Cox is Director of LSE IDEAS and Professor of International Relations. He is a renowned international lecturer who has published extensively on the United States, transatlantic relations, Asia’s rise, and the problems facing the EU — and the impact these changes are having on international relations. 9/9
717294 review-article2017 CSI0010.1177/0011392117717294Current SociologyMuis and Immerzeel CS Current Sociology Review Causes and consequences of the rise of populist radical right parties and movements in Europe Current Sociology Review 2017, Vol. 65(6) 909­–930 © The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392117717294 DOI: 10.1177/0011392117717294 journals.sagepub.com/home/csi Jasper Muis and Tim Immerzeel VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands Abstract This article reviews three strands in the scholarship on the populist radical right (PRR). It covers both political parties and extra-parliamentary mobilization in contemporary European democracies. After definitional issues and case selection, the authors first discuss demand-side approaches to the fortunes of the PRR. Subsequently, supplyside approaches are assessed, namely political opportunity explanations and internal supply-side factors, referring to leadership, organization and ideological positioning. Third, research on the consequences of the emergence and rise of these parties and movements is examined: do they constitute a corrective or a threat to democracy? The authors discuss the growing literature on the impact on established parties’ policies, the policies themselves, and citizens’ behaviour. The review concludes with future directions for theorizing and research. Keywords Anti-immigration parties, far right, populism, radical right, social movements Introduction Support for populist radical right (PRR) parties and movements has swelled in previous decades (Backes and Moreau, 2012). This has triggered extensive scholarly debate, which often focuses on electoral politics – for recent reviews on PRR parties, see Golder (2016), Greven (2016) and Mudde (2016). Corresponding author: Jasper Muis, Department of Sociology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Email: muis.jasper@gmail.com 910 Current Sociology Review 65(6) A strict division of labour seems to divide sociologists from political scientists, with each discipline focusing on the non-electoral and electoral channel, respectively (Rydgren, 2007). Social movement protests have generally been dominated by ‘the left’, while ‘the right’ mainly uses the electoral channel to voice its discontent, instead of taking to the street (Hutter, 2014). Consequently, social movement scholars focus on egalitarian movements that promote change, rather than reactionary movements (Hirsch-Hoefler and Mudde, 2013). They tend to overlook the most important contemporary actors mobilizing against the consequences of globalization and immigration: the populist radical right (Hutter and Kriesi, 2013). As Caiani et al. (2012: 4) put it: ‘social movement studies … [have] been slow to address the “bad side” of social movement activism’. Only when sociologists widen their perspective to the electoral channel, can we fully grasp the implications of globalization and large-scale immigration for political contention. This article reviews the scholarship on both PRR parties and movements in contemporary European democracies. First, we discuss the definitional debate about what constitutes the populist radical right (PRR) family. Second, we review demand-side and supply-side explanations for the fortunes of PRR parties and movements. Third, we discuss research on the consequences of the emergence and rise of PRR parties and movements. The review concludes with a discussion of the future directions that theorizing and research could take. Definitional debate on radical right-wing populism Different labels such as ‘extreme right’ (Arzheimer, 2009; Bale, 2003; Lubbers et al., 2002), ‘far right’ (Golder, 2016: Williams, 2010) and ‘populist radical right’ (Mudde, 2007) are used interchangeably to refer to the same organizations, such as the French Front National (FN), Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and Flemish Bloc/Flemish Interest (VB). A consensus has emerged that they constitute one single family. The most important common denominator is their exclusionist, ethno-nationalist notion of citizenship, reflected in the slogan ‘own people first’ (Betz, 1994; Rydgren, 2005a). This nativist stance means that states should be inhabited exclusively by members of the native group (the nation) and that non-native elements (persons and ideas) threaten homogeneous nation-states (Mudde, 2007). The label ‘radical’ thus refers to the outspoken position at the far end of the political spectrum on issues related to immigration and ethnic diversity (Akkerman et al., 2016). Since they strongly hold issue-ownership over immigration issues (Abou-Chadi, 2016) some scholars simply refer to ‘anti-immigration parties’ (Van der Brug et al., 2005). This label however does not suit PRR parties and movements in Eastern Europe very well, since they are more rooted in territorial revisionism and perceived threats from ethnic minorities, such as the Roma (Bustikova and Kitschelt, 2009; Minkenberg, 2017). Compared with Western Europe, the link between anti-immigration attitudes and PRR voting is significantly weaker in post-communist Europe (Allen, 2017). According to Mudde’s (2007) influential definition, two additional features characterize the PRR family: populism and authoritarianism. PRR groups share their populist, anti-establishment rhetoric (Carter, 2005; Ivarsflaten, 2008; Pelinka, 2013). Populism is a communication style or ‘thin’ ideology that adds a second division between ‘us’ and ‘them’: it pits the ‘pure people’ against the untrustworthy ‘corrupt elite’ (Mudde, 2007). Muis and Immerzeel 911 Second, authoritarianism implies stressing themes like law and order and traditional values. Relatedly, PRR groups favour strong leaders who reflect ‘the will of the people’ (Inglehart and Norris, 2016). However, there seems no consistent empirical relationship between authoritarian attitudes and PRR party preference in Western Europe (Dunn, 2015). Traits such as conformism or submission to traditional authority are also at odds with the picture painted of far-right social movement activists (Klandermans and Mayer, 2006). As a matter of fact, PRR movements often challenge existing authority (HirschHoefler and Mudde, 2013). In a nutshell, substantial progress has been made in three respects. First, scholars have diverted their attention away from trivializing definitional debates about what right-wing radicalism or populism really ‘is’. Instead, they have increasingly focused on more informative discussions about theories and hypotheses. Second, scholars increasingly focus on actually measuring the ideological characteristics and policy stances of both PRR and mainstream parties (Eger and Valdez, 2015; Immerzeel et al., 2016; Rooduijn and Pauwels, 2011). As a corollary, most scholars have abandoned reasoning in clear-cut categories. A strict ‘either–or’ logic (Mudde, 2007; Van Kessel, 2015) has been replaced by the argument that populism is more a ‘matter of degree’ (Pauwels, 2011a). Likewise, parties can position themselves somewhere on the left–right or cosmopolitan–nativist dimension (Akkerman et al., 2016; Van Spanje, 2011a). Nevertheless, for many research questions requiring case selection it is still necessary to delineate which ones deserve the label PRR and which ones not. Relying on expert surveys, Van Spanje (2011a) for instance qualifies parties that score higher than 8 on a 10-point left–right scale (it is unclear what a position on this scale exactly signifies) and an immigration restriction scale as ‘far right’ and ‘anti-immigration’, respectively. Inglehart and Norris (2016) use a similar method with a cultural position scale, which includes promoting traditional values, nationalism, law and order, and opposition to multiculturalism. Van Spanje (2011a: 295) noted that, despite conceptual unclarity, ‘every researcher seems to know which objects to study’. This however seems less obvious when we study post-communist Europe. Until recently, scholars have often ignored this region (Minkenberg, 2015, 2017; Pirro, 2015; Pytlas, 2016). Due to its more fluid party systems, it is generally more difficult to distinguish the political establishment from (populist) outsiders challenging it (Van Kessel, 2015). Mainstream parties and discourses are often more radicalized than in Western Europe (Minkenberg, 2017). Particularly Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland and Fidesz in Hungary illustrate this difficulty. Minkenberg (2017: 124) considers them ‘right-wing populist with programmatic elements of radical right’, since they remain ideologically more diverse than the PRR family. Nevertheless, these two parties feature prominently in debates about liberal democracy being undermined by right-wing populism. Expert surveys show that PiS and Fidesz have more radical positions than some Western European PRR parties (Inglehart and Norris, 2016). Explanations for failures and successes: Demand- and supply-side approaches Explanations for the rise and fortunes of PRR parties and movements are usually grouped into two approaches, demand-side and supply-side: one focusing on grievances and one 912 Current Sociology Review 65(6) on political constraints and opportunities (Koopmans et al., 2005; Mudde, 2007; Rydgren, 2007). These two approaches should be viewed as complementary, rather than competing theories (Van der Brug and Fennema, 2007). Supply-side factors can be further divided into internal factors (De Lange and Art, 2011; Norris, 2005), like organizational characteristics (Art, 2011; De Witte and Klandermans, 2000), and external factors, such as institutional frameworks and elite responses (Arzheimer and Carter, 2006; Kitschelt and McGann, 1995). The socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes of radical right supporters have been extensively investigated (Arzheimer, 2012; Golder, 2016; Van der Brug and Fennema, 2007). More recent studies also include Eastern European countries (Allen, 2017; Inglehart and Norris, 2016; Werts et al., 2013). The findings can be summarized into two general claims. First, protest is not ‘unideological’, but clearly directed against policies concerning immigration, integration and law and order (Eatwell, 2000; Swyngedouw, 2001). Voting for PRR parties seems largely motivated by ideological and pragmatic considerations, just like voting for other parties (Van der Brug et al., 2000). These motivations stem from perceived loss of culture and economic deprivation, although citizens perhaps do not clearly distinguish between cultural and economic grievances (Golder, 2016). Moreover, characteristics of followers might differ across contexts. For instance, lower-educated people are generally the ‘usual suspects’, but the constituency of Jobbik certainly does not consist of the ‘losers’ of the transition: the young and higher educated are more likely to support this party (Kovács, 2013). Alternatively, voters for PRR parties are sometimes characterized as irrational and alienated, seemingly unconnected to any particular values or policy preferences. However, social isolation is not related to PRR voting, either in Western or Eastern Europe (Rydgren, 2011; Zhirkov, 2014). In a similar vein, Klandermans and Mayer (2006: 267) conclude that radical right activists are socially integrated and appear as ‘perfectly normal people’ (cf. Blee and Creasap, 2010: 271). Second, it has become clear that a complete and satisfying explanation for PRR popularity needs to go beyond the demand-side model. It fails to explain short-term fluctuations within countries or large differences between otherwise mostly similar countries (Coffé, 2005; Norris, 2005). For instance, Austria, where the FPÖ has enjoyed considerable successes, is hardly more deprived than Germany, where the PRR is weak. Similarly, comparing the divergent fortunes of the Walloon Front National and Flemish VB, it is hard to imagine that immigration and unemployment have created significantly larger electoral demands for the radical right in Flanders compared to the Walloon region (Arzheimer, 2012). The external supply-side: Political constraints and opportunities According to external supply-side explanations, successful mobilization is the result of constraints and opportunities that the political-institutional context offers, most importantly the electoral system and the ‘political space’ left open by political competitors. Several researchers have convincingly shown that such factors matter, both for the action repertoire that PRR actors adopt (Koopmans et al., 2005) and their electoral performances Muis and Immerzeel 913 (Arzheimer, 2009; Arzheimer and Carter, 2006; Carter, 2005; Lubbers et al., 2002; Norris, 2005; Van der Brug et al., 2005). Institutional framework Several works have assessed whether the level of federalism and the electoral system affect the popularity of the PRR (Carter, 2002; Hakhverdian and Koop, 2007; Swank and Betz, 2003; Veugelers and Magnan, 2005). According to Kitschelt (2007: 1193), the general lesson is that the impact of institutional effects on PRR party strength is modest. Proportional electoral systems are conducive to the entrance or success of new parties (Tavits, 2006), but findings regarding radical parties in particular have been mixed (Carter, 2005; Golder, 2003; Jackman and Volpert, 1996; Norris, 2005; Van der Brug et al., 2005). Electoral thresholds may induce potential radical right voters to support mainstream parties when they perceive their favourite party to be too weak to overcome the barrier to entry (Givens, 2005). Clearly, the institutional configuration most unfavourable for newcomers exists in Britain (Kitschelt, 2007). That the British PRR has ‘failed’ is often attributed to the majoritarian electoral system (John and Margetts, 2009). Political space The emergence and rise of the PRR is affected by the positioning of the political parties within the policy space (Kitschelt and McGann, 1995). Political space refers to the degree to which mainstream parties (or moderate-right parties in particular) occupy the electoral terrain of the radical right. When they ideologically converge, they leave a ‘gap’ in the electoral market. Kriesi et al. (2008, 2012) argue that where established parties follow a moderate course in favour of the ‘winners’ of globalization, they provide an opportunity for the creation of parties that mobilize the ‘losers’. Several studies indeed found that ideological convergence between mainstream parties benefited the entrance or success of radical new parties (Arzheimer and Carter, 2006; Carter, 2005; Norris, 2005; but see Veugelers and Magnan, 2005). We need to distinguish issue positions from issue salience. Mainstream parties have three strategies at their disposal: remain silent on the particular issue (dismissive), distance itself from nativist viewpoints (adversarial), or adopt a similar position (accommodative). Meguid (2008) argues that issue salience will only enhance PRR support if mainstream parties declare hostility toward the niche party’s policy position. If mainstream parties employ accommodative tactics, electoral support for PRR contenders will diminish. Many scholars similarly argue that the PRR loses out when mainstream parties adopt restrictive positions on immigration (Arzheimer and Carter, 2006; Kitschelt and McGann, 1995). This strategy may however backfire (Bale, 2003). Eatwell (2000: 423) for instance notes that mainstream parties ‘play with fire’ when they adopt anti-immigrant themes, because it legitimizes the agenda of the PRR. Political space is measured in different ways, for different time periods. Therefore, the results of studies on the effect of the political agenda of other parties on the popularity of PRR challengers show a mixed picture. For instance, using Eurobarometer surveys (1980–2002) and party statements on internationalism, multiculturalism, national 914 Current Sociology Review 65(6) lifestyle and law and order from the Comparative Manifestos Project (CMP), Arzheimer (2009; see also Arzheimer and Carter, 2006) found that the ideological position of the established moderate-right party (labelled ‘toughness’) had no significant effect on cross-national differences in support for the PRR. On the other hand, saliency, the relative amount of these statements in the manifestos of all established parties, had a positive impact on levels of PRR support. In contrast, Van der Brug et al. (2005) found that PRR parties are more successful when the moderate-right occupies a more centrist position on a general left–right scale. They relied on the European Elections Studies data (1989–1999) and used respondents’ perceptions to measure party positions. And in this case, the extent to which the antiimmigration parties’ mainstream competitor emphasized the core issue of the radical right was insignificant, although they measured saliency similarly to Arzheimer (using the CMP data) by selecting the issues crime, negative references to multiculturalism and positive references to ‘the national way of life’. The role of the media environment The above-mentioned contradiction could perhaps be solved when we complement the political space approach with the notion that opportunities and constraints need to become publicly visible in order to become relevant (Koopmans and Olzak, 2004). Populist movements rely heavily on media, because they often lack sufficient organizational and financial means to get their message across to potential adherents. The controversial, tabloid-style language of its leaders flourishes in a ‘media logic’ in which newsworthiness is increasingly based on conflicts and scandals (Aalberg et al., 2016; Castells, 1997). Media-related independent variables can be grouped into (1) attention for issues associated with the PRR and (2) attention for PRR actors. Regarding the first, the empirical findings indicate that news coverage on issues that are ‘owned’ by PRR parties – immigration issues and law and order – enhances the electoral attractiveness of these parties (Boomgaarden and Vliegenthart, 2007; Plasser and Ulram, 2003; Walgrave and De Swert, 2004). Several researchers have also investigated the effect of news coverage on PRR actors (Lubbers and Scheepers, 2001; Vliegenthart et al., 2012). There are many indications that the ‘media factor’ benefits PRR groups. For example, the French FN made its electoral breakthrough in 1984 only after Jean-Marie Le Pen was given access to state television (Eatwell, 2005; Ellinas, 2009). Another example is the ‘pro-Haider line’ of the Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest newspaper (Art, 2007). Scholars have differentiated between coverage for PRR speakers and responses of other actors, between positive and negative coverage (Bos et al., 2010; Koopmans and Muis, 2009; Muis, 2015), and between the visibility of leaders and parties (Vliegenthart et al., 2012). Research shows that PRR leaders and parties clearly profit from media prominence (Bos et al., 2010; Clarke et al., 2016; Koopmans and Muis, 2009). Vliegenthart et al. (2012) find that party visibility enhanced electoral support for five of the six anti-immigrant parties they investigated, namely VB, Party for Freedom (PVV), Republikaner, National Democratic Party for Germany (NPD) and German People’s Union (DVU). The Dutch Centre Democrats (CD) was the one exception. Muis and Immerzeel 915 Muis’s (2015) study on the CD showed two opposite effects: negative publicity was electorally harmful, but at the same time it increased media visibility. Support for the party decreased when it achieved media access because the outright racist claims of its leader Hans Janmaat provoked harsh criticism. But when trying to achieve media visibility, it turned out that ‘any publicity is good publicity’. This nuances the claim of Stewart et al. (2003) that any media coverage is advantageous for political figures: it enhances their visibility, but not necessarily implies public legitimation. The difficulty is thus to find the right balance between newsworthiness and electoral credibility. Populist leaders face a trade-off between ‘being somewhat unusual and provocative … (in order to guarantee newsworthiness and therefore prominence)’ and being ‘taken seriously as a party’ (Bos et al., 2010: 143). Repression, cordon sanitaire This brings us to the role of repression and legal measures, such as bans and prosecutions. A similar logic applies here: the effect of repression is conditional. Its effects may depend on the politician or group targeted and the situation they are in. Another relevant factor is the nature of the statements in question (Van Spanje and De Vreese, 2015). For instance, the hate-speech charges pressed on Geert Wilders in 2009 considerably boosted electoral support for his party (Van Spanje and De Vreese, 2015). Wilders had already established himself as a powerful politician when it was decided that he was to stand trial. The impact of prosecution is very different for politicians and groups on the fringe. When movement activists are faced with legal and social sanctions (e.g. public disapproval and exclusion), protesting is a costly business and the ability to attract a wider support-base is undermined. Countries differ significantly in laws regulating the Internet, and thus how favourable a national context is for the online activities of radical rightwing groups (Caiani and Parenti, 2013). In addition to legal measures, PRR parties sometimes suffer political exclusion in the form of a refusal by other parties to cooperate with them, a so-called cordon sanitaire (Akkerman et al., 2016). It is however not clear whether it is an effective strategy if the purpose is to undermine electoral support. Results on the effects of exclusion on electoral outcomes of PRR parties are mixed (Pauwels, 2011b; Van Spanje and Van der Brug, 2009). Internal supply-side factors: Characteristics of the PRR From an internal supply-side perspective, we cannot reduce PRR parties and movements to the passive consequences of socio-economic processes and external political conditions. Instead, they are largely shapers of their own fates (Carter, 2005; Goodwin, 2006; Ignazi, 2003; Mudde, 2007). We distinguish two factors: ideology and organizational structure, including leadership (Carter, 2005; Goodwin, 2006). The role of ideology What parties most importantly can achieve through their own actions is to find a beneficial position in the policy space. Kitschelt and McGann (1995) claimed that the 916 Current Sociology Review 65(6) ideological ‘winning formula’ combines culturally exclusionist/authoritarian positions with liberal pro-market positions. However, the position that is said to make the PRR successful has changed over time (De Lange, 2007; Kitschelt, 2004). The PRR has abandoned right-wing economic stances (Eger and Valdez, 2015) and adopted protectionism (Rydgren, 2013) and welfare chauvinism (Oesch, 2008). Carter (2005) demonstrated a relation between the type of ideology parties employ and their success: more extreme parties are less successful. She encountered some notable exceptions. The Dutch CD was for instance a deviant case: most of the party’s ideological counterparts have flourished, like in Austria (FPÖ), France (FN) and Belgium (VB). The ideological character does not only have direct effects on the fortunes of parties, it also interacts with other explanatory factors. Golder (2003) found that increasing unemployment and high levels of immigration only yield more electoral success for populist radical right parties, but not for the ones that were labelled as ‘neo-fascist’. Despite these two examples, to date, research on such interactions and ideological positioning is relatively scarce (Golder, 2016). Instead of figuring as an explanatory factor, party ideology has played a more dominant role in delimiting the dependent variable. In any case, despite their common nativist stance as their unique selling point, PRR groups are distinct in their ideological character and framing, and these differences have crucial consequences in terms of their fortunes. The ‘master frame’ (combining nativism with populism) needs to be modified to the particular national context in which these groups operate (Caiani and Della Porta, 2011; Rydgren, 2005b). Scholars have observed that far-right orientations have been adapted. In particular, anti-Semitism has been replaced by Islamophobia (Williams, 2010). In Scandinavia and the Netherlands, ‘new’ PRR parties have stressed progressiveness – liberty, women’s rights, individualism – against reactionary authoritarian standpoints (De Koster et al., 2014; Rydgren, 2005b). In a similar vein, anti-Islam movements such as the English Defence League (EDL) and the Identitarian movement (France) have distanced themselves from anti-Semitism and racism (Fielitz and Laloire, 2016). Organizational arguments and leadership Besides ideology, organizational characteristics such as a lack of financial resources, appealing leadership and shortfall of active membership have frequently been proposed as pivotal factors for the performances of PRR parties and movements (Art, 2011). Lack of coherence of party organizations and intra-party conflicts have often hampered PRR parties (Heinisch and Mazzoleni, 2016). However, organizational characteristics that are supposedly beneficial or indispensable often do not seem to be relevant in order to account for the impressive performance of populist challengers. As pointed out earlier, many leaders rely almost entirely on media attention, and successful trajectories often illustrate how media visibility can compensate for organizational weaknesses (Ellinas, 2009; Mazzoleni, 2008). The growth of membership and improvement of an organization often lag behind success, instead of the other way around: media attention and electoral support are first successfully mobilized, then organizational and financial resources follow. In a review article on party organization effects, Ellinas (2009: 219) states that organizational arguments ‘would need to Muis and Immerzeel 917 carefully trace the evolution of party organisations to establish the direction of causality’. His evidence from the French FN indicates that organizational growth seems the consequence rather than the cause of electoral success, especially during the earlier stages of development. De Witte and Klandermans (2000) identified a ‘circle of organisational weakness’: weak organizations (like the Dutch CD) remained weak, whereas, in contrast, strong organizations (like VB in Belgium) became stronger over time. In sum, organizational resources seem often both a cause and a result of success. As a genuinely ‘independent variable’, organizational strength might be more important to explain the persistence of parties after their initial breakthrough (Ellinas, 2007, 2009). Charismatic leadership is another prominent supply-side explanation in the academic literature (Eatwell, 2005; Lubbers et al., 2002). However, this explanation suffers from circular reasoning (Van der Brug and Mughan, 2007; Van der Brug et al., 2005). Charisma is a legitimization for those who appear to be the ‘heroes of a war’ and can as suddenly vanish as it appears. If leaders are unsuccessful, charismatic authority can quickly disappear. Max Weber (1947 [1921]) illustrates this by noting that even Chinese monarchs could sometimes lose their status as ‘sons of heaven’ because of misfortune, such as defeat in war, floods or drought. To conclude, outstanding charismatic appeal is better seen as an emergent situational characteristic, rather than attributed to the skills and personality of the leader concerned. Consequences of PRR party and movement success In addition to the causes of PRR fortunes, scholars have increasingly investigated the consequences of the emergence and rise of PRR parties and movements (Mudde, 2013; Rosanvallon, 2008). It is often stated that radical right populism endangers some of the constitutional foundations of liberal democracies: pluralism and the protection of minorities (Abts and Rummens, 2007; Betz, 2004; Mudde, 2007). At the same time, however, scholars agree that it distinguishes itself from political extremism, in the sense that PRR supporters and activists respect democracy, whereas extremist groups are hostile to democratic political processes (Betz and Johnson, 2004; Minkenberg, 2011; Rydgren, 2007). PRR parties could actually correct democratic deficiencies by speaking to a large group of citizens disillusioned with mainstream politicians (Mudde and Rovira Kaltwasser, 2012). Citizens feel that there is someone who ‘listened to their grievances’ (Ivarsflaten, 2008) and enables them to become passionately, rather than rationally, involved in politics (Mouffe, 2005). The question of whether there is a relationship between PRR successes and various outcomes associated with the quality of democracy (such as voter turnout) can be empirically tested (Immerzeel, 2015). Therefore, and related to the observation that the PRR has assumed more stable positions within the party system (De Lange, 2012; Zaslove, 2008), we have witnessed a rise in studies on the impact of PRR success on several domains, including the party system (Mudde, 2014) and media debate (Rooduijn, 2014). We restrict ourselves here to the impact on policies, on PRR groups themselves and on the public. Studies generally focus on Western Europe; despite some exceptions, evidence for the impact of the PRR is largely absent from the literature on the East European radical right (Minkenberg, 2017). 918 Current Sociology Review 65(6) Policies and mainstream party positions Given the PRR’s alleged threatening effect on the position and rights of immigrants, it comes as no surprise that scholars have paid attention to the extent to which the PRR was successful in implementing policies derived from its nativist, anti-immigration ideology. Scholars have investigated whether governments that included PRR members introduced tougher policies on immigration and integration (Akkerman, 2012; Heinisch, 2003; Luther, 2011; Zaslove, 2004). These studies generally find no or a limited impact of the PRR on the policies implemented. For instance, Akkerman (2012) concludes on the basis of a comparative analysis of the immigration and integration output of 27 cabinets in nine countries (1996–2010) that when the PRR is in office, cabinets generally introduce stricter immigration and integration legislation than centre(-left) cabinets. Yet, centreright cabinets that do not include a PRR are similar in terms of strictness of immigration policy as those including a PRR. Apparently, the difficulties these parties face in adapting to public office hinder their effectiveness to implement stricter policies (Akkerman, 2012; cf. Van Spanje, 2011b). The finding of Zaslove (2008) that the Austrian Freedom Party and Italian Lega Nord (LN) have been instrumental in passing more restrictive immigration policy may thus be more due to the performance of the conservative mainstream parties that cooperate with them than because of the performance of the PRR itself (cf. Heinisch, 2003). The PRR could also influence policy making indirectly, via its impact on other parties’ positions (Schain, 2006). As such, scholars have investigated whether the PRR’s success influences the policy positions on immigration, multiculturalism, populism, law and order, and more style-related issues, such as anti-establishment rhetoric (Bale, 2003; Bale et al., 2010; Han, 2014; Immerzeel et al., 2016; Rooduijn et al., 2014; Van Spanje, 2010; Williams, 2006). To study these effects, scholars used either expert surveys (e.g. Immerzeel, 2015; Van Spanje, 2010), or assessed the salience of typical PRR issues in party manifestos (e.g. Alonso and Da Fonseca, 2012). The results of these studies can be easily summarized: the PRR affects the stances of mainstream parties on immigration and integration issues, but not on other issues. Based on various expert surveys, Van Spanje (2010) concluded that other political parties have generally become more restrictive with respect to immigration and integration due to the PRR’s success. Using manifesto data, Han (2014) and Akkerman (2015) found similar effects. More specifically, a fine-grained manifesto content analysis (1989–2011) by Akkerman (2015) shows that mainly Liberals were tempted to co-opt far-right positions, whereas Social Democrats are not affected – or at least their reaction is far from uniform (Bale et al., 2010). Han (2014: 1) shows that left-wing parties only become less multicultural ‘when the opinion of party supporters on foreigners becomes more negative or when the parties lost more votes in the previous election than their opponent right-wing mainstream parties did’. With regard to other issues, such as populism and law and order, mainstream parties seem to hold to their original ideological position (Bale et al., 2010). On the basis of manifesto data (Rooduijn et al., 2014) and expert surveys (Immerzeel et al., 2016), scholars do not find that mainstream parties have become more populist and authoritarian. To conclude, PRRs have an indirect, but modest influence on policy outcomes. This impact is generally limited to the issue of immigration and integration (Mudde, 2013). Muis and Immerzeel 919 Specifically mainstream right-wing parties employ a convergence strategy that puts them ideologically closer to the PRR (Meguid, 2008; Williams, 2006). However, mainstream right parties are often inclined to move toward stricter immigration policy anyway, independently of PRR successes (Akkerman, 2015; Alonso and Da Fonseca, 2012; Bale, 2003). Consequence for PRR parties/movements There is a growing scholarship on how PRR successes affect these groups themselves. Most importantly, what effect does the inclusion into a governing coalition have on parties, both in terms of their ideological positions and their electoral success (Akkerman and De Lange, 2012; Akkerman et al., 2016; Albertazzi and McDonnell, 2015; Van Spanje, 2011b)? Heinisch (2003) argued that right-wing populist parties thrive in opposition, but have trouble with actually participating in a government. He argued that governing leads to moderation and hence to electoral losses. In contrast, Mudde (2013) argues that they will uphold their oppositional image and radical rhetoric, to avoid the risk of being perceived as part of ‘the corrupt elite’. Although there are several case studies, systematic tests of the so-called inclusionmoderation thesis are scarce (Akkerman et al., 2016). Albertazzi and McDonnell (2010, 2015) dismiss the received wisdom that populist parties have inherent problems with assuming power. Their case studies of three parties in Italy and Switzerland – Popolo della Libertà (PDL), LN and Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP) – show that PRR parties can keep ‘one foot in and one foot out’ of government: they can thrive and maintain radical positions after taking up government responsibility (cf. Frölich-Steffen and Rensmann, 2007). Likewise, an extensive recent study of Akkerman et al. (2016) concludes that there is no trend toward mainstreaming of Western European PRR parties when it comes to positions on their core issues immigration and integration, European integration and authoritarianism. Overall, there is thus no indication that PRR parties are becoming less radical. Citizens’ attitudes and behaviour Third, the PRR’s emergence and success might affect citizens, in the sense that they shift their views toward more anti-immigration and authoritarian positions, or change their political behaviour (Andersen and Evans, 2003; Bohman, 2011; Dunn and Singh, 2011; Immerzeel, 2015; Ivarsflaten, 2005; Semyonov et al., 2006; Sprague-Jones, 2011; Wilkes et al., 2007). PRR groups can also make some issues more salient (Bale, 2003; Ivarsflaten, 2005). Studies on the impact of PRR success on immigration attitudes provide a mixed picture (Dunn and Singh, 2011; Semyonov et al., 2006; Sprague-Jones, 2011). Some conclude that successful and visible PRR parties undermine support for multiculturalism (Bohman, 2011), whereas others find no effects. An extensive recent study, based on European Social Survey data (2002–2012), showed that PRR parties have not driven anti-immigration attitudes in Europe (Bohman and Hjerm, 2016). The main difficulty is the lack of longitudinal studies, modelling the attitudinal consequences of PRR success 920 Current Sociology Review 65(6) over time. Evidence based on German and Dutch panel data showed that perceptions of threatened group interests precipitate rather than follow citizens’ preferences for PRR parties (Berning and Schlueter, 2016). Regarding political involvement and trust, one might expect that PRR parties foster voter turnout because they reintroduce electoral competition and trigger politically disengaged people to become actively or passionately involved in politics (Jansen, 2011; Mouffe, 2005). For instance, Fallend (2012) concludes that the Austrian FPÖ addressed issues neglected by other parties, such as immigration and integration. Accordingly, over the period 1996–2001, the party gave voice to an apolitical part of the electorate, who increasingly felt that politicians listened to them. However, based on a Dutch six-wave panel study (2008–2013), Rooduijn et al. (2016) find that the popularity of populist parties fuels political discontent, rather than dampens it. In the same vein, based on an analysis of 33 European countries in the period 2002– 2012, Immerzeel and Pickup (2015) find there is no general positive influence of the PRR’s popularity on electoral turnout. Yet, the Western European PRR encourages some social groups to turn out for national elections. These groups are, however, people who are actually repelled by them: the more highly educated and politically interested are more inclined to ‘keep the rascals out’. To conclude, to speak of the PRR as ‘corrective of democracy’ seems – in terms of increasing electoral turnout or political satisfaction – a misunderstanding. Another interesting question is how institutionalized and non-institutionalized forms of political participation are related. Hutter (2014) finds that the more successful the populist radical right is in electoral terms, the more it tends to abstain from protest activities. Furthermore, Koopmans’ (1996) cross-national comparison showed an inverse relation between the success of PRR parties and the incidence of racist violence. Access to political power in a number of Western European countries over the past years might have contributed to less right-wing violence (Ravndal, 2016). Hence, the electoral channel seems to effectively substitute for street activity and violence (see Koopmans et al., 2005). However, a recent study comparing the German Bundesländer found a positive relation between PRR voting and xenophobic violence (Jäckle and König, 2017). Particularly in the United Kingdom and Germany, xenophobic sentiments can hardly be canalized through the electoral channel. It therefore should perhaps not come as a surprise that both countries have experiences with large-scale street movements. The rise of EDL and Britain First is a corollary of the decay of the British National Party (Alessio and Meredith, 2014; Allen, 2014). The EDL ‘offered a more attractive and confrontational alternative to perennial failure at the ballot box’ (Ford and Goodwin, 2014: 8). The movement relied heavily on social media to get its message across and recruit supporters (Busher, 2013). In sum, a weak or fragmented party sector corresponds with a strong movement sector or environment of violence (Minkenberg, 2011). It remains to be seen whether UKIP (in the UK) and Alternative for Germany (AfD) will change this picture in the future. Patzelt and Klose (2016) conclude that the number of Pegida protesters has shrunk since the AfD has increasingly succeeded to put their grievances on the political agenda. Although several AfD politicians have distanced themselves from Pegida (Geiges et al., 2015), a survey showed that 57% of the Pegida demonstrators in Dresden would vote for AfD, and only about 4–5% for NPD (Reuband, 2015). Muis and Immerzeel 921 Future directions: How to proceed? We conclude this review with a discussion of possible avenues for future research. Concerning research questions, scholars need to pay more attention to the temporal dimension of political contention (Golder, 2016). Remarkably, whereas cross-national comparisons have become commonplace, comparisons in time are still scarce (Ellinas, 2007; Kitschelt, 2007). A dynamic view could reveal whether explanations for and consequences of PRR parties and movements change during their trajectory. For instance, before groups pass the ‘threshold of relevance’ (Carter, 2005; Ellinas, 2007) – i.e. are big enough to matter – organizational attributes might have no effect on their performance. And once populist outsiders have established themselves as credible alternatives, traditional parties may not win back electoral support if they adopt similar agendas (Van Kessel, 2015). Likewise, the impact of government responsibility depends on how long parties exist and whether they have institutionalized (De Lange and Art, 2011). Cross-national comparisons focus mainly on the PRR’s electoral strength. The strength of social movements and the interaction between electoral politics and other forms of political mobilization, including street protests and racist violence, have received relatively little attention. There are only a few comparative overviews of the non-party sector (Minkenberg, 2011). Individual-level research is needed on the question whether the electoral channel effectively substitutes for street activity (Hutter, 2014; Koopmans, 1996). To what extent do people refrain from using non-parliamentary means to voice their grievances about multiculturalism and immigration, due to electoral successes or government inclusion of PRR parties (Minkenberg, 2011)? Again, a dynamic perspective is important: over time, movements can turn into political parties, and parties can engage in street demonstrations when they face political obstruction. This brings us to future avenues for theoretical progress. Both PRR parties and movements and its competitors/opponents can adjust their action repertoire and ideology over time, and continually respond to what other agents are doing, which is insufficiently addressed by static, spatial comparisons. Future scholarship could theorize more from such an evolutionary perspective. We should elaborate more sophisticated behavioural models of party strategies (Kitschelt, 2007). We should not only try to identify a certain policy package that ‘works’ beneficially. In addition, we need to reveal the mechanism by which parties are able or inclined to arrive at successful positions over time. Only a few accounts of far-right populism clearly explicate why or how successful populist leaders are able to find ‘successful positions’ and why most other attempts fail to do so (Muis and Scholte, 2013). In terms of confronting theories with empirical evidence, future studies could be enriched by greater attention to PRR parties and movements’ presence on the Internet. The current debate on the role of the Internet is characterized by much theoretical speculation; we know little about how these groups use the Internet for political communication and mobilization (Caiani and Parenti, 2013). Future work in this field could make progress in two ways. To date, to assess where PRR groups stand, scholars mainly rely on manifestos (Akkerman et al., 2016; Eger and Valdez, 2015), expert surveys (Immerzeel et al., 2016) and traditional media (Kriesi et al., 2008). These methods could be supplemented with sources that are widely consumed by citizens (few people actually read 922 Current Sociology Review 65(6) party manifestos) and controlled by PRR actors themselves (media coverage might be biased), namely social media. Second, social media analyses could also enrich our understanding of supporters and sympathizers, in addition to surveys or interviews. For instance, Arzheimer (2015) concludes that the German AfD does not qualify as either nativist or populist, but statements of Facebook followers hint at more radical currents among its supporters. The topics that people devoted most attention to (Islam and immigration) were hardly mentioned in AfD’s own messages. To conclude, the scholarship on the populist radical right has become a ‘minor industry’ (Arzheimer, 2012: 35), but there are still important gaps and challenges. 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Zhirkov K (2014) Nativist but not alienated: A comparative perspective on the radical right vote in Western Europe. Party Politics 20(2): 286–296. Author biographies Jasper Muis is Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His research interests include right-wing populism, protest behaviour, political communication and complex adaptive systems. His dissertation, titled Pim Fortuyn: The evolution of a media phenomenon about the breakthrough of right-wing populism in the Netherlands, received the Dutch Research Prize of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Tim Immerzeel is a teacher in social studies in the city of Rotterdam – the stronghold of Pim Fortuyn’s party. He was postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Sociology at VU University Amsterdam and member of the international PolPart project team that investigates why people participate in politics. He finished his dissertation at the Department of Sociology/ICS at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. It investigates the relationship between political participation and radical right-wing voting, and examines the mobilization success of radical right parties. 930 Current Sociology Review 65(6) Résumé Cet article examine trois tendances qui coexistent au sein des travaux de recherche sur la droite radicale et populiste. Il se penche sur les partis politiques et la mobilisation extraparlementaire dans les démocraties européennes contemporaines. Après avoir passé en revue les questions de définition et sélectionné plusieurs cas d’études, nous examinons les différentes approches de la demande qui expliquent les succès et les échecs de la droite populiste et radicale. Nous analysons ensuite les perspectives du côté de l’offre afin de souligner l’importance des opportunités politiques et des stratégies internes du côté de l’offre, c’est-à-dire le rôle de l’équipe dirigeante, de l’organisation et du positionnement idéologique. En troisième lieu, nous examinons les travaux de recherche sur l’émergence et la montée de ces partis et de ces mouvements en nous demandant s’ils représentent une remédiation ou une menace pour la démocratie. Nous analysons les travaux abondants consacrés aux conséquences de ce phénomène sur les politiques des partis, l’action publique et les comportements des citoyens et des appareils politiques. En conclusion, cette étude propose de nouvelles pistes pour les travaux de théorisation et de recherche. Mots-clés Partis anti-immigration, populisme, droite radicale, extrême droite, mouvements sociaux Resumen Este artículo revisa tres aspectos de los estudios sobre la derecha radical populista (PRR), abarcando tanto los partidos políticos como la movilización extraparlamentaria en las democracias europeas contemporáneas. Luego de presentar los temas de definición y la selección de casos, primero debatimos los enfoques del lado de la demanda para las fortunas del PRR. Posteriormente, evaluamos los enfoques de la oferta. Estos consisten en explicaciones de oportunidad política y enfoques internos de oferta, refiriéndose al liderazgo, la organización y el posicionamiento ideológico. En tercer lugar, se examina la investigación sobre las consecuencias de la aparición y el surgimiento de estos partidos y movimientos: ¿constituyen una corrección o una amenaza para la democracia? Discutimos la creciente literatura sobre el impacto en las políticas de los partidos establecidos, las políticas, ellos mismos y el comportamiento de los ciudadanos. La revisión concluye con las orientaciones futuras para la teorización y la investigación. Palabras clave Partidos anti-inmigración, populismo, derecha radical, extrema derecha, movimientos sociales
newrepublic.com/article/143604/european-disunion-rise-populist-movements-means-democracy July 18, 2017 Illustration by Thomas Fuchs European Disunion What the rise of populist movements means for democracy. By Yascha Mounk July 19, 2017 In 1830, the King of France sent a young engineer to England to study a sensational invention: a steam train that ferried passengers from Manchester to Liverpool. Once he arrived, as Tony Judt recounts in The Memory Chalet , the engineer sat by the track taking copious notes as the sturdy little engine faultlessly pulled the world’s first railway train back and forth between the two cities. After conscientiously calculating what he had observed, he reported his findings back to Paris: “The thing is impossible,” he wrote. “It cannot work.” 1/9 It is tempting to scoff at the engineer who disregards the evidence barreling in front of him at 30 miles an hour. But I must admit to having a soft spot for him. For it was, I think, not the mathematical equations in his notepad that misled him, but rather his all-too-human refusal to believe that his understanding of the world could so swiftly prove mistaken. So it is hardly surprising that, as one political shock has followed another over the last year, people who once seemed perfectly rational have come to resemble the young French engineer. For decades, political scientists have claimed that “democratic consolidation” is a one-way street. Once a country is affluent and has been ruled in a democratic fashion for a long time, they argued, democracy becomes “the only game in town.” Citizens become deeply supportive of democracy and reject other regime forms out of hand. Major politicians accept the need to play by democratic rules. Extreme candidates are rejected at the ballot box. It should be clear, however, that this is no longer the case. Many Americans now believe that democracy is a bad system of government, and a striking number are even open to authoritarian alternatives. Over the past two decades, according to data from the World Values Survey, the proportion of Americans who express approval for military rule has more than doubled. Last October, a month before the election, another survey showed that 46 percent either “never had faith” or have “lost faith” in American democracy. Had you asked a group of pundits and political scientists two years ago whether they would revise their most basic assumptions about American politics if Donald Trump were elected president, most would have answered with a resounding “yes.” But by the time Trump was moving into the White House, those same people had already found a way of fitting his victory into their long-standing narratives. Scholars who made their careers by arguing that America was becoming more liberal, for instance, now explained Trump’s victory by suggesting that the shrinking of the GOP’s electoral base makes it easier to mobilize. Their theories failed to predict Trump’s victory—and yet it turns out they are vindicated by it. A desire to downplay threats to democracy extends beyond American politics. In coverage of the recent presidential elections in France, commentators were intent on emphasizing the signs of continuity and disregarding the signs of change. Neither the candidate of the historically dominant center-left party nor the candidate of the historically dominant centerright party managed to qualify for the run-off. With 33.9 percent of the vote in the second round, Marine Le Pen gained more votes than any extremist candidate in French postwar history, nearly doubling the record set by her father 15 years earlier. Young people were far more likely than older people to vote for her. Yet much of the media celebrated Emmanuel Macron’s victory as a triumph over populism, and intimated that the populist wave was finally cresting. The defeat of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party last December brought similarly demonstrative sighs of relief. “The thing is impossible,” one article after another seemed to say. “It must not be.” The instinct to reach for the consolation of the ordinary is as touchingly human today as it was in the nineteenth century. But it is just as dangerous. If we take seriously that the populist moment may turn into a populist age, we need to analyze the evidence barreling in front of us. A recent spate of books on the rise of populism, especially in Europe, offers some initial 2/9 answers: The authors enumerate the defining features of populism across the continent; they attest to the danger that populists, on both the right and the left, pose to the survival of liberal democracy; and they explain why there is real reason to doubt the resilience of seemingly stable political systems. But they barely begin to explain the underlying reasons for the populist resurgence—or to show how liberal democracy might survive it. The list of movements that have historically been called populist is strikingly long and varied. There are the populares of Ancient Rome, the agrarians of nineteenth-century Wisconsin, and the Peronists of twentieth-century Argentina. Even today, the populist label is applied to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as to Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, to Italy’s Beppe Grillo as well as to France’s Marine Le Pen. Yet the movements they lead are united by no clear policy agenda. Some favor state ownership of the means of production, while others want to privatize prisons; some seek to put politics under religious tutelage, while others are stridently secular. But all these populists do share one important trait: a common political imagination. Athens, 2015: Youth unemployment has buoyed the left populist party Syriza. Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg/Getty In What is Populism?, Jan-Werner Müller, a professor of political science at Princeton, argues that populists have a unique way of describing the political world, setting a “morally pure and fully unified” people against elites “who are deemed corrupt or in some other way morally inferior.” Anyone who has followed the recent politics of the United States and Europe will recognize both the populists’ claim to represent the silent majority of “real” Americans (or 3/9 Germans, or Turks) and their attacks on elites as corrupt traitors—as globalists, who, in the contemporary American parlance, inhabit a swamp the populist hero promises to drain. While most politicians claim to speak for the people, or seek to remedy the injustices of the status quo, populists alone claim that they have what Müller calls a “moral monopoly of representation.” According to Müller, it is this posture that makes populists inherently dangerous. Because they see themselves as the only legitimate political actors, they seek to take over the judiciary, to gain control of the media, and to co-opt other institutions. And while other political forces might, to varying degrees, engage in similar practices, only populists can “undertake such colonization openly.” The openness of the populists’ challenge to pluralism makes them much more dangerous than more covert enemies of democracy. When Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, started to colonize the state, his opponents warned that he was trying to undermine the independence of key state institutions. But instead of acknowledging the danger he posed, Orban’s supporters celebrated his policies as a sign that he was truly determined to put the “real people” in the driver’s seat. For this very reason, Müller points out, it is naïve to assume that populists lack the discipline to govern. Far from leading a chaotic or inept government, Orban successfully went about the business of destroying Hungarian democracy. Since then, governments from Poland to Serbia have followed suit—and populist leaders from Spain to Sweden are now waiting in the wings to reenact his script. For some people to count as the “real” people, others have to be excluded. But just as populists differ on their policy prescriptions, so, too, do they differ on the exclusionary principles they deploy. They can draw distinctions between people along economic, religious, or moral lines. They can pit producers against parasites, the devout against the blasphemous, or the heterosexual against the homosexual. But over the past 20 years, by far the most salient division has been ethnicity. All over Europe, countries that have long defined themselves as monoethnic and monocultural have experienced mass migration, and are now struggling with the slow and painful transition to a new model of membership in the nation. Eight years after its first publication, Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe remains the most insightful and infuriating treatment of this challenge. According to Caldwell, the United States largely succeeds in turning successive waves of immigrants into “true Americans.” It is not clear whether the reason for this success is America’s cultural selfconfidence, or its greater diversity of immigrant groups, or even the higher pressure to succeed on the job market in the absence of a comprehensive welfare state. But the upshot is unambiguous: The children of newcomers do not behave much differently than the children of natives. “Mass Hispanic immigration,” Caldwell writes, “can disrupt a few local habits, and the volume of the influx can cause logistical headaches for schools, hospitals, and local governments. But it requires no fundamental reform of American cultural practices or institutions.”Many Europeans have accepted that their societies will need to become truly multiethnic, and that they should regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors as 4/9 compatriots; but a sizable number have not. Many immigrants, meanwhile, have learned the local language and adopted the basic values of their new societies; but a significant minority have not. The resulting tensions have, for the past decades, opened up the most decisive political cleavage in much of Western Europe. Progress in Europe, by contrast, has been limited. Although countries such as Germany and France have differed significantly in their approaches to immigration policy, they and other European nations have mostly failed to assimilate newcomers. Across the continent, immigrants have very high unemployment rates. Many of them speak the local language poorly and refuse to adopt the country’s customs. They are twice as likely as natives to say that they do not feel a sense of connection to their country. There is strong segregation and selfsegregation: More than half of Europeans admit that they don’t have a single friend of a different race. And most of these divisions actually seem to deepen from generation to generation. For Caldwell, these observations imply nothing less than a slow-moving cultural revolution: Europe finds itself in a contest with Islam for the allegiance of its newcomers. For now, Islam is the stronger party in that contest, in an obvious demographic way and in a less obvious philosophical way. In such circumstances, words like “majority” and “minority” mean little. When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident, and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter. The horror scenario that Caldwell stops short of describing is fully realized in the plot of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Submission. Faced with the choice between a far-right candidate of Le Pen’s ilk and the leader of a moderate Islamist party, the French political establishment decides to back the Islamist—who, of course, turns out not to be so moderate after all. In the end, the narrator, a scholar of French literature, happily converts to Islam and, even more happily, takes three young wives. Critics of both Caldwell and Houellebecq have largely faulted them for their sensationalist description of contemporary Europe. But though I disagree with the extent of their pessimism about the gulf between immigrants and natives in Europe, I fear that their real miscalculation lies elsewhere: As the recent surge of far-right populists shows, Europe might turn out not to be quite as self-abnegating as Caldwell and Houellebecq assume. On the contrary, the danger facing Europe is as likely to stem from the scapegoating of minorities as from its submission to them. When push comes to shove, Europe is likely to choose a far-right extremist over an Islamist—and the ultimate outcome could be far more bloody than Houellebecq imagines. Among the most puzzling of recent political developments on the continent is that antiimmigrant sentiment has been just as ferocious in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania as in Western Europe, even though the number of immigrants to Central and Eastern European countries is much lower. Orban’s popularity in Hungary, for example, was waning over the course of 2015—until an influx of refugees began to dominate the political debate, and Orban took extreme measures to keep them out of the country. 5/9 This is one of many riddles that Ivan Krastev—a Bulgarian political scientist who casually wields the dialectical wit to which Slavoj Zizek so desperately pretends—solves in After Europe. “Since the Berlin Wall fell,” he observes, “Europe has put up, or started to erect, 1,200 kilometers of fences expressly designed to keep others out.… Attracting tourists and rejecting migrants is the short version of Europe’s desired world order.” While most nations in Western Europe retain some hope that they will be net beneficiaries of this new order, the residents of Central and Eastern Europe have come to take a very bleak view of the future. The two best hopes that Bulgarians have of escaping economic and cultural stagnation, Krastev quips, are Terminal 1 and 2 of Sofia’s international airport. A lot of Bulgarians have taken his joke to heart. Over the past quarter-century, one in ten has left the country. By 2050, the Bulgarian population is projected to shrink by more than a quarter. The demographic trend is similar in many other countries in the region. As a result, alarm over “ethnic disappearance” can be discerned in many of the small nations of Eastern Europe. For them, the arrival of migrants signals their exit from history, and the popular argument that an aging Europe needs migrants only strengthens the growing sense of existential melancholy. When you watch on television scenes of elderly locals protesting the settlement of refugees in their depopulated villages where not a single child has been born for decades, your heart breaks for both sides—the refugees, but also the old, lonely people who have seen their worlds melt away. A few decades ago, Central and Eastern European politicians frequently boasted of their language skills. Their ability to speak fluent English signaled that they could represent the modern face of their nation and bring home the benefits of globalization. But as the national mood has turned more somber, the ability to succeed away from home has turned from an electoral asset into a liability. A politician’s ability to speak fluent English, or to garner a degree from a prestigious American university, now suggests that he is likely to abandon his people in search of greener pastures as soon as times get tough. “At the very heart of the populist challenge,” Krastev suggests, “is the struggle over the nature and obligations of elites. Unlike a century ago, today’s insurgent leaders aren’t interested in nationalizing industries. Instead, they promise to nationalize their elites. They don’t promise to save the people but to stay with them.” Western Europeans tend to discount the political similarities between the parts of the continent that were once separated by the Iron Curtain. By showing that the Eastern half of the continent often acts on the same anxieties as the Western half (or indeed, the United States), Krastev makes clear just how much self-flattery is involved in that assumption. As the last months have shown, the fear of cultural loss and the desire to renationalize elites are powerful political forces in Michigan, Middlesbrough, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as well as in Macedonia. 6/9 If the differences between Eastern and Western Europe are sometimes overstated, those between Northern and Southern Europe are often underestimated. Across the continent, growing inequality and the stagnation of living standards have hit young people especially hard. Yet in the North, the basic promise of an affluent society remains open to the bulk of young people: If you manage to get a good education, and are willing to work hard, you are likely to find a decent job and to lead a materially comfortable life. That same promise is now routinely broken in the continent’s South. The figures tell a stark story: In countries like Greece and Spain, up to a quarter of the total population—and up to half of young people—have been out of a job at some point over the past decade. That bitter reality has generated widespread skepticism of the fundamental premise of meritocracy: the belief that it is worth trying hard at something because hard work will meet material reward and social recognition. It has also fueled the rise of left-wing populist movements—including Greece’s Syriza, Spain’s Podemos and Italy’s Five Star Movement—which propose that meritocracy was always a con, the system is rigged, and rewards should be shared more equally among the population. Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement, has turned to anti-immigrant rhetoric.Matteo Minnella/OneShot /LUZ/Redux Especially popular among the young and downwardly mobile, these movements share an irreverent style that can be inspiring. Back when Silvio Berlusconi held office in Italy, no politician, journalist, or entertainer channeled righteous anger at his outrages more effectively than Beppe Grillo, who delivered multihour, expletive-laden rants at huge rallies across the country. At the time, it was as hard to dislike Grillo as it would be to dislike John Oliver. 7/9 Whereas the far-right populists of Northern Europe direct much of their anger against the most vulnerable scapegoats, Grillo and other populist leaders in the South tend to reserve their fury for a “political caste” that really is deeply corrupt. John Judis, in The Populist Explosion, captures something of the difference between Grillo and Le Pen when he distinguishes between “dyadic” and “triadic” forms of populism. Left-wing populism, he argues, tends to set up a dichotomy between the people and the elite, pitting the bottom of society against the top in a clean match-up. By contrast, right-wing populism sets up a triadic antagonism between the people, the elite, and a third segment of the population that is supposedly being coddled by the political establishment: Muslims, immigrants, effete intellectuals, and so on. While left populists correctly diagnose society’s problems, their solutions are just as simplistic as those propagated by the right. The implication seems obvious: While triadic populism is pernicious, dyadic populism is benign. But reality, unfortunately, is a little more complicated than that. Many populists who seemed benign at the beginning of their political rise quickly proved just as willing to scapegoat vulnerable minorities as their right-wing counterparts. Grillo, for example, was long regarded as a hero by the left, and the Five Star Movement was originally animated by progressive ideals. The five stars that gave his movement its name each symbolized a leftist political demand: to keep water utilities in public ownership, to improve mass transit, to prioritize sustainable development, to grant Italian citizens a right to internet access, and to protect the environment. Yet Grillo has increasingly turned his considerable rhetorical skill against immigrants. (“Now is the moment to act,” he wrote on his blog last December, a few days after the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. “The migrant situation is out of control.”) Greece’s left-wing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has meanwhile entered government in coalition with a far-right nationalist party and has quickly begun to undermine the country’s free press. The problem with the left populists is not just the inflammatory rhetoric to which they increasingly stoop. While their diagnosis of society’s problems is often accurate, and their passion for economic justice genuine, their solutions are just as simplistic as those propagated by the populist right. Like their counterparts, they promise their voters that politics is simple, and that all of society’s problems could be solved if only somebody who truly represents the people were elected to high office. And like their counterparts, they are likely to disappoint their followers if they actually gain power. In fact, what is truly notable about these movements is that, on both politics and economics, the new crop of populists ultimately wants to overthrow rather than to fix the current order. There is another reason why the story of the young French engineer has been on my mind over the past few months: I’ve been wondering what Tony Judt, who told the story in a posthumously published essay collection, would have made of the present political crisis. 8/9 It seems clear that Judt, who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2010, would have been willing to contemplate the possibility that democracy might now be in real peril. “Grotesquely unequal societies are also unstable societies,” he wrote in Ill Fares the Land. “They generate internal division and, sooner or later, internal strife—usually with undemocratic outcomes.” And since Judt was deeply worried about the fate of social democracy, there is also little doubt that he would have put a lot of his hope in a programmatic renewal of left-wing parties. “Social Democrats all across Europe,” he lamented briefly before his death, “are hardpressed to say what they stand for.” It is perhaps unsurprising that this programmatic renewal has barely advanced. For decades, the battle lines of economic policy—more or less taxation; a bigger or smaller welfare state— seemed deeply entrenched, while the language of politics narrowed and atrophied. It is only since the shock of the global financial crisis, as we have experienced an unlikely intellectual renewal of the far left and an equally unlikely political renewal of the far right, that this language has started to lose its hold. Like a sea of fog that slowly retreats as the sun rises, its disappearance has revealed vistas both riveting and terrifying. The range of ideas that can now be seriously entertained, both in politics and economics, has radically expanded. But our efforts to grapple with the political crisis we face have not been sufficiently ambitious. We’ve made real progress in understanding the nature of populism, moderate progress in analyzing its causes, and barely any progress in identifying its potential remedies. The fate of liberal democracy may now hinge on whether we are able to formulate a reformist, forward-looking vision for a better politics—one that unites citizens in pursuit of a more tolerant and prosperous future, rather than pitting groups against one another or concluding that our political system is beyond remedy. But to mount an effective defense against the false promises of populism, we will have to do more than define the threat: We will need to formulate the ideas, the slogans, and the policies that are capable of renewing liberal democracy. 9/9

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