What populists get right

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Representation in the age of populism


Disclaimer: Views expressed in this commentary are those of the staff member. This commentary is independent of specific national or political interests. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the institutional position of International IDEA, its Board of Advisers or its Council of Member States.

Populist parties are winning elections across Europe. Instead of ignoring them, established parties should be taking notes.

Today, every fourth European is governed by a populist leader. Populists have grabbed the reins in Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. They’re busy reshaping the political landscape in countries such as Austria and Finland, where they are in government with established parties, and in Germany and the Netherlands, where they make up the largest opposition force.

But first, what exactly is a populist?

Read the full commentary published in Politico (Europe Edition) on 25 June 2018.

About the Author

FORMER Secretary-General
Yves Leterme

Prior to International IDEA, Yves Leterme served as Prime Minister of Belgium from 2007 to 2011. Belgium held the Presidency of the European Union during Leterme’s tenure as Prime Minister. He then served as Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 2011 to 2014.

About the Author

Head of Programme, Regional Europe
Sam van der Staak

Sam van der Staak is the Head of International IDEA’s Europe Programme. His work focuses on responding to democratic developments in Europe, with a special emphasis on the topics of political parties, money in politics, and ICT in democracy.