RE-EUROPEIZING EUROPE

RE-EUROPEIZING EUROPE

http://almudenas.website/index.php/2018/04/18/re-europeizing-europe/

In the scholar arena of political studies, the notion of Populism seems clear. It is generally used when it comes to defining either political regimes headed by strong leaders who pretend to represent ‘the people’ as the case of Peron in Argentina, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and other leaders from different countries. Also, the political discourse, particularly of the far-right, populism arises during times of economic difficulty, as it is the case in several European countries like France, Austria, Hungary, The Netherlands or the independence movement of Catalonia in Spain. When the subjects who speak are the political actors, it is observed that the term ‘populist’ is used by both the right and the left, to stigmatize the opponent, or to self-defend against adverse stigmatization.

For the right-wing, the left is populist because it manipulates the working and less fortunate classes

for the left-wing, the right is populist because it manipulates the middle classes with discourses seeking to generate the most primitive emotion: the fear.

Eastern European Populism

How Eastern European Populism is Different

Slawomir Sierakowski

How Eastern European Populism is Different

Of 15 Eastern European countries, populist parties currently hold power in seven, belong to the ruling coalition in two more, and are the main opposition force in three.

Aside from hard data, we need to consider the underlying social and political factors that have made populism so much stronger in Eastern Europe. For starters, Eastern Europe lacks the tradition of checks and balances that has long safeguarded Western democracy. Unlike PiS Chairman Jarosław Kaczyński, Poland’s de facto ruler, Trump does not ignore judicial decisions or sic the security services on the opposition.

Another major difference is that Eastern Europeans tend to hold more materialist attitudes than Westerners, who have moved beyond concerns about physical security to embrace what sociologist Ronald Inglehart calls post-materialist values. One aspect of this difference is that Eastern European societies are more vulnerable to attacks on abstract liberal institutions such as freedom of speech and judicial independence.

This shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, liberalism in Eastern Europe is a Western import. Notwithstanding the Trump and Brexit phenomena, the US and the UK have deeply embedded cultures of political and social liberalism. In Eastern Europe, civil society is not just weaker; it is also more focused on areas such as charity, religion, leisure, and politics, rather than social issues.

Another major difference between Eastern and Western European populists is that the former can count on support not only from the working class, but also from the middle class.

 

paris france

The French, Coming Apart
A social thinker illuminates his country’s populist divide.
Christopher Caldwell Spring 2017

https://www.city-journal.org/html/french-coming-apart-15125.html

Christophe Guilluy calls himself a geographer. 2010, with the newest, Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut (roughly: “The Twilight of the French Elite”

At the heart of Guilluy’s inquiry is globalization. Internationalizing the division of labor has brought significant economic efficiencies. But it has also brought inequalities unseen for a century, demographic upheaval, and cultural disruption. Now we face the question of what—if anything—we should do about it.

A process that Guilluy calls métropolisation has cut French society in two.

Cheap labor, tariff-free consumer goods, and new markets of billions of people have made globalization a windfall for such prosperous places. But globalization has had no such galvanizing effect on the rest of France. Cities that were lively for hundreds of years—Tarbes, Agen, Albi, Béziers—are now, to use Guilluy’s word, “desertified,”

 

Italy and refugees

Italy’s Growing Refugee Problem

The large number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy continues unabated, with more coming now than in previous years. Many want to continue their journey to Germany. With Italian authorities badly overstrained, could this become Berlin’s next problem?

By Luigi Albonico, , Vladimir Otasevic, Charlotte Teunis and Katharina Wecker

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/italy-refugee-problem-spells-trouble-for-europe-a-1131506.html

What does this mean for Europe? If the political and economic problems in Italy continue to deteriorate, African refugees could soon become a more pressing matter at the European level. The populist parties in particular — Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord — may have an interest in trying to get as many refugees as possible to leave Italy.

the Interior Ministry has drafted a plan that, if approved, would see migrant boats sent back to North Africa directly after their rescue at sea.