The Rise of Populism in Europe

Can the Center Hold?

Norbert Hofer of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria, May 2016. Heinz-Peter Bader / Reuters

Last Sunday, Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria received a stunning 49 percent of the vote in his country’s presidential election. Although Hofer was ultimately defeated, his strong showing opened a new chapter in the story of Europe’s populists.

In several European countries, including Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Switzerland, right-wing parties have taken the reins of government. And even where right-wing populists haven’t gained power, groups such as Britain’s UKIP, the French Front National, and Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland are enjoying record popularity.

In crisis-ridden southern Europe, meanwhile, left-wing populists have seen a renaissance. Spain’s anti-austerity movement Podemos is likely to finish second in elections scheduled for June. In Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party is leading an unlikely coalition government with the right-wing populist Independent Greeks party.

Two core issues lie at the root of today’

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.