This June, the annual conference of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies will be holding a seminar series called “The End of the Liberal Order? Central, East, and Southeast European Populism in Comparative Perspective“. In addition to doctoral level dissertations on the rise of populist political parties as a result of refugees, the seminars in Regensburg, Germany, will include presentations with titles such as “Don’t Mourn, Balkanize!”
“The surge of populism is driven by deep-seated frustrations about the current political-economic order, which the post-2008 recession as well as the refugee crisis of 2015 have aggravated. Large swathes of society regard themselves as non-beneficiaries or losers of globalization and technological change and feel alienated from the so-called establishment. Be it in impoverished rural areas or in “rust belt” cities in the former industrial heartlands all across Europe, large segments of society feel let down by their government and threatened in their existence by anonymous economic forces and waves of migration. These resentments have developed into political cultures of vindictiveness and spitefulness which set up “us” versus “them” and ostentatiously embrace values that the presumed mainstream deems anachronistic, such as nativism, religious intolerance and male chauvinism. One of the rallying cries of populists is their fight against “political correctness”, which is portrayed as an infringement on the freedom of speech, or the prohibition of the articulation of genuine popular feelings: that what people really think (e.g. about foreigners) can and must not be said in public, which only increasing their sense of estrangement. The “redneck” phenomenon is not limited to marginalized areas of the United States.”
For those who would like to follow the conference online, here are the registration details.