This GEF publication presents the issue of right-wing populism from a variety of thematic angles and national perspectives. It touches upon the similarities as well as the differences between European cases of populism, and several authors discuss how Greens and progressive parties in particular should respond to this phenomenon. As a follow on, book presentations and round tables were organised by GEF and its partner organisations in venues as diverse as Malta and Finland, Athens and Ireland to continue the discussion.
A year into these debates the political context had shifted. In the wake of Europe’s economic and social crisis, the (right-wing) populist argumentation had partly moved from a cultural to a socioeconomic one, playing with European north-south / east-west divisions. Political cleavages along the left-right axis came back to the fore, and we witnessed an accompanying rise of traditional and populist movements on the left side of the political spectrum. Many election results throughout Europe paid tribute to the fact that political populism seems to have become a permanent feature of our democratic political systems.