Interview #30 – All you need to know about radical right parties

It is time to hear Prof. Kai Arzheimer — one of the major experts on radical right parties — talking about Germany, AfD, Great Recession, populism in Portugal and Spain, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, and much more.

He explains who are the typical voters of radical right parties, and examines the role of the media, immigration, and European integration. Why populism does not thrive whenever there are promising conditions, what is going on in Poland and Hungary , and the future of democracy in Europe. Enjoy the read.


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Interview #25 – Hungary & Poland: Post-Communist Autocracies and Illiberal Democracy

What is going on in Poland and Hungary? A deliberate attempt to break with liberal democracy, Ben Stanley argues. In this interview we analyze the legacy of World War II and Communism and the role of Viktor Orban and Jarosław Kaczyński in the transformation of the two countries. Governmental control over the media, attempts to bring the judiciary under political control, and breaches of the constitution: What are the causes beyond these transformtions, and which will be the consequences for the future of the European Union?

Ben Stanley is Assistant Professor in the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Warsaw). His primary area of research interest is the politics of populism in Central and Eastern Europe, incorporating analysis of party ideological appeals and voter behaviour. His current research activities include an experimental analysis of the links between conspiracy theory mentality and populism in Poland, measurement of populist attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe, and a monograph on Polish populism.

Enjoy the reading.

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Barnum Circus or European Parliament?Between Freedom of Speech and Stigma

The European Parliament is a strange place, we all know it. Politicians who could not find a suitable chair at the national level, Europhobic fellows, but also racist, crusaders and misogynists.  On March 2, Polish conservative politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke insisted that “women must earn less because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less. That is all.” Continue reading

2015: the golden year of populist leaders?

9091838291_9989e55b4b_n2015 is not finished yet, but for those interested in populism it has been a remarkably “populist year”. The economic crisis is (allegedly) coming to an end, but this is not the case for populist politicians. Let’s start our journey among populist leaders precisely from the “Eastern European tiger”: Poland.

kukiz rockstar

Paweł Kukiz

1) Vodka & Rock ‘n’ Roll

Paweł Kukiz. A right-winger with a left-wing heart, as he likes to say. A rockstar turned rightwing politician, say the media. Anti-system candidate, in practical terms. His movement scored 8.8% at the last elections in Poland, while in May Kukiz came third in the first round of the presidential elections.

He was the vocalist of the Breasts (Piersi) during the 80s and 90s, and in 2012 he launched a website to promote single-member constituencies. In a classically populist way, he claims that the Polish political structure privileges the elites at the expense of the population.

In 2010 Mr Kukiz opposed a ‘EuroPride’ homosexual march in Warsaw and was dismissive of the election in 2011 of Anna Grodzka, Poland’s first transsexual parliamentary deputy.

In three words: controversial, irresolute, engaged.

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