Democracy erodes from the top – the challenge of populism in Europe
Tue 18 April 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm BST
Professor Larry M. Bartels will join us live online and virtually via the large screen at Queen Square from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee to discuss Democracy erodes from the Top – leaders, citizens & the challenge of populism in Europe.
A seeming explosion of support for right-wing populist parties has triggered widespread fears that liberal democracy is facing its worst crisis since the 1930s. This talk will reveal that the real crisis stems not from an increasingly populist public, but from political leaders who exploit or mismanage the chronic vulnerabilities of democracy. In the process, the pervasive myth of a populist wave in contemporary European public opinion will be dismantled.
While there has always been a substantial reservoir of populist sentiment, Europeans are no less trusting of their politicians and parliaments than they were two decades ago, no less enthusiastic about European integration, and no less satisfied with the workings of democracy. Anti-immigrant sentiment has waned. Electoral support for right-wing populist parties has increased only modestly, reflecting the idiosyncratic successes of populist entrepreneurs, the failures of mainstream parties, and media hype.