Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Alexis Tsipras, Nigel Farage, Hugo Chavez, Sarah Palin, Geert Wilders, Bernie Sanders, Pablo Iglesias—most of you are familiar with these names. At a time of economic uncertainty, high unemployment, and fears about immigration, in which the world seems to lurch from one crisis to the next, we need politicians who are authentic, who are prepared to speak truth to power, and who know and care about the needs of average people. These are the people who should set the political agenda, right?
The reality is less clear. Recent years have seen a rise in populist parties and populist politicians across Europe and the Americas—a rise many people find deeply troubling. Why are people like Le Pen, Iglesias, and our favourite orange-haired billionaire Donald Trump becoming more and more prominent? Especially in parts of the world that pride themselves on their enlightened “liberal” attitudes toward politics and society, why are supposedly illiberal parties and personalities becoming so popular, not only at the national level, but in city councils and regional assemblies as well? Is this a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon, or an omen for the future? And is there any difference between right-wing and left-wing populism, or are they equally problematic?
All students and faculty are invited to join us for a discussion of these questions on Thursday, April 14, from 19:00-21:00 in MMB 31—Room 801 (Madrid campus). All viewpoints are welcome, so don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
We hope to see you there!