Talking Progress
Talking Progress
Aug 31, 2021
Progressive Governance: Against the Far-Right
Play • 44 min
How to defeat right-wing populists at the ballot?

How has the pandemic year influenced the politics of right-wing populists and nationalists? Is their goal of a world defined by closed and exclusive communities any closer or has the year 2020 and 2021 demonstrated the need for regional and international cooperation? This episode will debate the short and long term effects of the pandemic on right-wing populism and offer suggestions on how progressives can win elections during the 2020s.

This episode is the first part of our Progressive Governance series. We recorded this session as part of the Progressive Governance Digital Summit that took place from June 9th to 11th 2021. Post-production and additional recordings were done by Annika Hoffmann and Das Progressive Zentrum.

Johannes Hillje, a policy fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum, moderated this conversation between Catherine de Vries, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Political Science at the Bocconi University and Cas Mudde, Professor of International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

The 2021 German Elections and 2022 French Elections

With both Germany and France gearing up for national elections, the political impact of the pandemic will undergo major tests. Catherine De Vries and Cas Mudde discuss how progressives in these countries should campaign within the context of pandemic, focusing on how to communicate policies and coalition expectations.

Policy analysis: Austerity measures have benefited the far-right

Which conditions and policy decisions have empowered right-wing populist parties in the past decade? Catherine de Vries points to empirical evidence suggesting that austerity measures have been a big driver for far-right parties. Using the 2010 financial crisis as a comparison point, both guests analyse lessons learned and the pros and cons of the EU's response this time around.

The importance of setting the progressive agenda

Taking a broad look at Europe, Catherine de Vries and Cas Mudde provide examples of how the far-right has adapted and responded to changing political situations. The experts advocate for progressive leaders and parties to take positions entrenched in liberal values and to set the agenda with their own visions of society. Winning elections, progressive administrations, and democratic institutions are at stake.

How to make the 2020s a decade of progress?!

De Vries: "Take a position and keep that position as much as you can, and choose your battles and that battle needs to be for liberal rights and liberal democracy."

Cas Mudde: "We have to re-politicize politics, it has to be ideological again - we have to recapture the agenda on the basis of our own ideology, so we should focus on key policies; the environment, housing, public health and also reimagine Europe."

Find out more about the Progressive Governance Summit!

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