European Populism and the Looming European Parliamentary Elections

After a very turbulent few years, populism remains a defining feature of ongoing electoral politics in Europe and the world.  This last year we’ve seen some reversals in the hold that (radical right) populist parties have – such as the electoral defeat of Poland’s Law and Justice party, but also major new gains – such as the electoral victory of Wilders’s PVV in the Netherlands. This evening, scholars Sarah de Lange, Robin de Bruin, and Brian Burgoon will discuss the different aspects of populist politics in Europe and the World.

 This year can be seen as a major tipping point for the role of populist parties, left and right, as looming National Parliamentary Elections are on the way, as well as the European Parliamentary Elections in June. The hot-points of these politics are likely to fundamentally influence the foreseeable future for Europe with respect to immigration, climate change, social protection, and military-strategic geopolitics.

About the speakers

Sarah de Lange is Professor of Political Pluralism at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. From 2016 to 2022 she held the Dr. J.M. Den Uyl chair, a chair established by by the Wiardi Beckman Foundation. Her main research interests concern parties, party families, and party systems. Her work is broad in geographical scope and examines party politics in a range of East and West European countries.

Robin de Bruin is a senior lecturer (political history of European integration) at the European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. He published a monograph on Dutch perceptions of European integration between 1947 and 1968 and the effects thereof on the national political system in the Netherlands. Over the last few years, most of his research dealt with the connection between decolonisation and European integration (research programme “Colonial exceptionalism or co-imperialism? Imperial powers and European unity”, together with PhD candidate Nuri Kurnaz)

Brian Burgoon is Professor of International and Comparative Political Economy in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He received his PhD from MIT in 1998, and between 1998 to 2000 was Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  He joined the UvA faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2000, was appointed Professor in 2012, and served as Academic Director of the UvA’s Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) from 2014 till December 2020.  He is currently co-director of Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES).

Maria Weimer (moderator) is an associate professor of EU law and regulation at the Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam, director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance and a governing board member at the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies. She works and has published extensively on EU regulation in the field of health and environmental protection. She is currently carrying out a research project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) on the legitimacy of EU unilateral regulation to fight global deforestation and on EU regulation of sustainable supply chains.

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