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Chatham House: Primer: National Populism



In a number of countries traditionally seen as part of the democratic, liberal international order, public polling reflects a growing tranche of the electorate feel excluded, alienated from mainstream politics and increasingly anxious about rapid societal, demographic and economic change.

For many of these voters, national populist movements provide a political expression for these fears and frustrations and this has been reflected in recent elections in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

Matthew Goodwin explores whether oft-quoted narrative explanations for the rise of national populism and the assumed motivations of its leaders and supporters stand up to critical scrutiny.

The talk covers:

The core elements of national populist ideology and how it differs from fascism

The four, deep-rooted, long-term trends pushing national populism forward

How political systems, particularly in Europe, are changing in a fundamental and perhaps irreversible way

Who is voting for these parties and why popular stereotypes are misleading

How these parties are impacting on mainstream political discourse
Is centrist politics a thing of the past?

The Chatham House Primer Series is a unique programme of talks designed to bridge the gap between introductory level subject knowledge and a more advanced understanding geared towards practical application, higher-level discussion and policy debate.

With each talk hosted by a leading expert, the Primer series aims to provide the audience with a solid grounding in topics of academic curiosity, key international affairs concepts and the issues behind the news.

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