Month: August 2019

“Christian Europe” and the normalization of the radical right

One of the most unsettling ways in which postwar Europe used its alleged Christian identity was to normalize modern totalitarianism. Illustratively, by the end of the Second World War active efforts began to be made throughout the continent to prove that Spanish dictator Francisco “Franco was not really a ‘fascist’, but was in fact an… Continue reading ““Christian Europe” and the normalization of the radical right”

Autocracies vs. Democracies. A theoretical approach

Democracies still face threats to their existence today. With autocratic regimes, political power is clearly based upon executive prerogative, meaning a potentially unchecked use of force by police and military, thereby guaranteeing domestic stability through force. In contrast, the political power of democracies is ultimately based upon their power of persuasion; a principle that is… Continue reading “Autocracies vs. Democracies. A theoretical approach”

Merkel’s dilemma: Germany’s polarising ‘Turkish issue’ returns

To prevent such developments, mainstream parties need to shape political discourse, instead of being shaped by it. In August 2017, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-leader Alexander Gauland proposed to ‘dispatch’ the then Federal Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration, Aydan Özoğuz (SPD), back to Anatolia. Some weeks later, the AfD party entered the German… Continue reading “Merkel’s dilemma: Germany’s polarising ‘Turkish issue’ returns”

Expertise in politics: boon or bane?

Populist radical right parties and their leaders openly despise expertise: they often parade their ignorance and inexperience by developing, in electoral terms, propaganda depicting them shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary citizens (“the People”) – as distant as possible from accultured, intellectual cosmopolitan elites. Mainstream political parties have, especially in recent years, often championed recourse to unelected experts… Continue reading “Expertise in politics: boon or bane?”

Is the World Undergoing a Deep Populist Transition?

The political momentum and social appeal of the current populist backlash illustrates the persistence of dark collective layers that the postwar transition was meant to have banished. In academia, we seem to have a fondness for the trope of the “wave” and “wave theory.” Samuel Huntington gave us the waves of democratization — a process of… Continue reading “Is the World Undergoing a Deep Populist Transition?”