Articles European Union

Podemos experience as an alternative to nationalist turn?

05 Sep 2017 - 17:27
Photo: Quentin Bruno / Flickr
Back to archive

The disproportionate emphasis in politics, the media and academia for ‘populism’ conceals the big changes taking place in Europe. Populism is a reaction to these changes. By merely discussing the form, the populist expression, a debate is avoided on the economic and democratic crises in Europe, the cultural shifts taking place, and the causes of the security threats we are facing. It is more important to establish that European economic and political institutions are no longer designed to the global problems of today. And this vacuum is filled by rightwing nationalist actors. Crumbling centrist parties are trying to hold on to the neoliberal status quo by adopting similar identity politics. Lack of systemic vision and leadership on the left strengthens the resulting nationalist turn. However, left-wing populist experiences might provide some clues for another way out. Recent political developments in two quite different European countries, the Netherlands and Spain, will illustrate this point.

Read the full article in our dossier: 'Populism: between renewal and breakdown of democracy'

Authors

Frans Bieckmann
Executive director of The Broker, the think net on globalisation and development