Glorious past and identity – the driving forces behind the populist resurrection?

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Ferdo Quiquerez Antemurale Christianitatis (1892)

Glorious past and identity – the driving forces behind the populist resurrection?

Round table by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, WiseEuropa and Political Capital

Populist forces have been gaining ground all over the West. Perceived grievances, discontent, disappointment, and concerns of various nature are among the reasons why people turn to populist forces that put identity, nation, the memory of an idealized, glorious past and the picture of an envisioned enemy in the focus of their politics. Is this really a new phenomenon? Who are these populist forces and how much do they differ based on their national context? Is one or the other society more vulnerable to the populist challenge due to its history and traditions? Is Central Eastern Europe more vulnerable to populism due to its absolutist past, ethnic relations and turbulent 20th century history? Do CEE countries differ when it comes to populism? How should non-populist forces deal with the challenge? What can we expect from 2017?

Based on Adam Balcer’s new study “Beneath the surface of illiberalism: The recurring temptation of ‘national democracy’ in Poland and Hungary – with lessons for Europe”,WiseEuropa and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, in cooperation with Political Capital, organise a round table to discuss populist and illiberal tendencies in the CEE region with a special focus on politics of identity and memory, and significance of these developments for the political situation in particular countries and their impact on the future of the EU.

Date: 16.30-18.00, 23 March 2017

Venue: Loffice (Paulay Ede u. 55, H-1061 Budapest)

Language: English and Hungarian (with simultaneous interpretation)



                        Adam Balcer (WiseEruopa)

                        Bulcsú Hunyadi (Political Capital)

                        Grigorij Mesežnikov (Institute for Public Affairs)

                        Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University, University of Vienna)

Moderator: Veszna Wessenauer, Political Capital


Please kindly reply to this invitation at the following by 20th March 2017.