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Left-Wing Populism in Europe?

26 February 2015

Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: Arts II, Rm 3.20, Mile End Campus

A workshop organized by the TheoryLab, the School of Politics & International Relations and the POPULISMUS Project

Within the European public sphere, ‘populism’ is directly and often exclusively associated with the extreme right, with extremist and anti-European political forces that need to be marginalized. This view is shared by most mainstream media and dominates academic debate as well. This one-day event purports to critically examine this claim. Such a restrictive association with the extreme-right seems to ignore the long historical trajectory of populist movements as well as the contemporary global picture of populist politics. In both cases, left-wing and often inclusionary variants dominate the picture, putting in serious doubt the European mainstream standpoint. One recent development that needs to be highlighted - since it seems to further destabilize the dominant view – is the development within crisis-ridden Europe of new populist movements and parties of the democratic Left both in the South (notably in Greece and Spain) and in the North (Netherlands). Focusing on these recent developments speakers will examine the historical variability of populist movements in the US, Latin America and Europe, the relationship between exclusionary and inclusionary populism(s), the place of the extreme right within the global populist canon as well as the relationship between the crisis of democracy and political mobilization in horizontal movements and vertical parties of the democratic Left (from the Indignados to Podemos in Spain, from Aganaktismenoi to SYRIZA in Greece, etc.)

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