European Populism in the Late 2010s

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-3-29-38

G. Vainshtein (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The article is devoted to the assessment of the current state of the European populism. Basing on the outcomes of the European electoral cycle in 2017, as well as sociological polls data, the author suggests that, contrary to the opinion of some Western analysts concerning “decline of the populist wave”, there is stabilization of the populism’s impact on the political life of the continent. The article emphasizes that while in the Western Europe there is a certain stagnation of the “populist offensive” on the political power system, in Eastern and Central Europe there is a completely different situation – stabilization of positions in this system that have already been won by populism. Along with a certain consolidation of electoral niche previously gained by populism in some West European countries one can watch enhancing of populist impact on the European political discourse and the real policy of a number of mainstream parties. The article highlights some evolution trends of populist parties themselves. These include the intensification of contradictions between the desire of populists to win support of radicalized voters, on the one hand, and their striving to win positions in the political power system that requires some mitigation of populists’ anti-systemic radicalism, on the other. At the same time, the article provides abundant evidence of recent shifts in the European public mind, which contribute to the enlargement of the electoral base of populism by creating a new socio-psychological situation in European societies, more favorable for the populist forces’ activities. The author argues that although the political consequences of these trends are difficult to predict, essential aspects of the current political transformations generated by populism are further fragmentation of a political landscape and corresponding increase of uncertainties in the political life of Europe. 

Keywords: populism, political transformations, fragmentation of political landscape, anti-system policy, radicalization of public consciousness



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For citation:
Vainshtein G. European Populism in the Late 2010s. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 29-38.

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