On 20 March, the right-wing populist Forum for Democracy (FvD) won the largest share of the vote in the Netherlands’ provincial elections. Ben Margulies argues that the party and its leader, Thierry Baudet, should give cause for concern to those who support European liberal democracy. The FvD takes a radical-right populist discourse, but pitches it in a cultural language […]
Populist politicians frequently champion direct democracy, yet other actors view populists as a threat to the democratic system. Ben Margulies draws on the work of Karl Polanyi in attempting to resolve this contradiction. He explains that populists typically believe democracy should be a vehicle for the people’s will, but crucially the people may never have the chance to change […]
The alliance between Angela Merkel’s CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, has come under strain over the German government’s immigration policies. Ben Margulies writes that while most of the coverage of the CDU-CSU dispute has focused on what it means for Merkel’s government, it provides some insights into the potential future trajectory of the German party system.
The political crisis in Italy that emerged after Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed Giuseppe Conte’s choice of finance minister quickly gave way to a compromise. But what did the affair tell us about populist politics in Italy and Europe? Ben Margulies writes that while Mattarella got his way in the end, his actions risked bringing about the very thing […]
Following a vote of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy, Pedro Sánchez is the new Prime Minister of Spain. Ben Margulies explains how Rajoy’s demise came about and outlines what might happen next with the country potentially heading for new elections.
Politics, unlike theatre, rarely gets pacing right. Either one spends months waiting for some seemingly inevitable drama, or all hell […]
The formation of a new Five Star Movement/Lega government in Italy is in doubt after Italian President Sergio Mattarella refused to approve of Giuseppe Conte’s proposed economy minister, Paolo Savona. Ben Margulies writes that if the Five Star Movement does enter government, the main risk for the party will come from the Italian economy. Should external factors, such as EU constraints or the bond markets, force […]
‘Populism’ and ‘liberalism’ are often viewed as being in opposition to one another, but many ‘populist’ parties nevertheless cite liberal values in making their case for particular policies, such as a reduction in immigration. Ben Margulies assesses the case of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom and its approach to the six Caribbean islands that form part of the Kingdom of […]
Will the decision to back a soft Brexit hurt Labour’s prospects in the upcoming election further, or would it help? And what would it do to Labour’s prospects in the long run? Ben Margulies looks at the evidence and explains how Labour can avoid becoming irrelevant and how it can recover its position as the leading party of the […]
A few reasons why Le Pen could win the French presidential election, and a few more why she’ll still fall short
We are now entering the last month of campaigning before the first round of voting in the French presidential election on 23 April, with Marine Le Pen still leading in many opinion polls for the first round, but behind in polling for the second round. Ben Margulies assesses some of the key factors in her favour, and several more […]
German state elections held on 13 March produced significant levels of support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), but where does the German party system stand overall after the elections? Ben Margulies writes that Germany is now heading toward a new system split between establishment parties and populist challengers, paralleling previous developments in countries like Austria.
On 13 March, three […]
The Front National secured the largest share of the vote in the first round of the French regional elections on 6 December, but failed to win any regions in the second round. Ben Margulies writes that while the Front National is often regarded simply as a far-right party, Marine Le Pen has increasingly focused on the Front National’s role […]