Event Summary: Does “Populism” Propose the Wrong Answers to the Right Questions?

Populism is a contested label in Europe. It signals a profound threat to representative democracy for some, and an antidemocratic fear of the mob for others.

Groups that have been labeled as populist in Europe include Jobbik in Hungary, the Danish People’s Party, Geert Wilders and the Partij Voor de Vrijheid in the Netherlands, and Casa Pound in Italy.

What, then, is populism?

Earlier this year, a group of policy researchers, activists, journalists, academics, and politicians discussed this question at a gathering in Budapest. Read the perspectives of commentators such as Ondřej Liška, former Czech minister for education and current chair of the country’s Green Party; media scholar Gavan Titley; and Peter Kellner, president of YouGov, UK, in this event summary. For a more in-depth review of the event, read the event report by Gavan Titley.