In terms of prompting domestic and foreign concern over the rise of illiberal democracy in the European Union, the new Polish government has almost outdone the Hungarian governments of the past six years. Cas Mudde considers the likelihood of EU sanctions against both Poland and Hungary.
The advance of populist anti-Islamic forces in the liberal bastions of northern Europe – Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden – appears to reflect a betrayal of these societies’ renowned social tolerance. But there is a more subtle logic at work, says Cas Mudde.
The far right straw man is certainly not new to the European debate, writes Cas Mudde. But it has gained in importance as mainstream leaders increasingly adopt a soft eurosceptic rhetoric (rather than policies), with a view to thwarting the advance of hard eurosceptic parties, most notably of the far Right.
The populist radical Right: A pathological normalcy
According to the conventional view, the far-Right in Europe is antithetical to the values of liberal democracy. New research showing that far-Right ideology is a radicalization of mainstream values has a major impact on how populism is understood, writes Cas Mudde.