There are various reasons why it is politically expedient to call Trump a fascist, but doing so clouds our judgement about the kind of authoritarianism he represents. Trump’s encouragement of ethnic antagonism is typical of far-right populism globally and will endure in the US beyond his presidency.
Jan-Werner Mueller is currently a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin, as well as the research cluster “Contestations of the Liberal Script” in Berlin. His book Democracy Rules is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Penguin in English, and from Suhrkamp in German in 2021.
Europe's twin dangers
Normative disintegration, normative disengagement
Should anti-democratic populism continue to cast a shadow across the continent, Europe may well succumb to a creeping process of disintegration, warns Jan-Werner Müller. Now is the time for renewed political engagement, if Europe’s democracies are not to start slowly corroding from within.
Rising to the challenge of constitutional capture
Protecting the rule of law within EU member states
Despite being well aware of the stakes involved in member states such as Hungary, writes Jan-Werner Müller, the European Commission still lacks fully convincing instruments to deal with constitutional capture: a government’s systematic weakening of checks and balances.
Democracy protection in the EU revisited
What, if anything, is wrong with a Copenhagen Commission?
Jan-Werner Müller deals with critical issues raised by his proposals for a Copenhagen Commission: an independent institution specifically tasked with alerting Europe to threats to democracy, the liberal rule of law and individual rights such as those currently seen in Hungary.
Intellectuals have been accused of failing to restore a European confidence undermined by crisis. Yet calls for legitimating European narratives – combined with nostalgia for a golden age of Europeanism – remain faithful to the logic of nineteenth-century nation building, argues Jan-Werner Müller. What, then, should Europe’s intellectuals be doing?
Is Germany's future still European?
An interview with Jan-Werner Müller
Germany’s politicians lack deep European convictions yet are susceptible to calls for a more strident role in Europe; and while the mainstream is unlikely to give up what it sees as the recipe for German success, “constitutional patriotism” could allow for greater Europeanization. Jan-Werner Müller talks to Esprit about German contradictions.
A "pause for thought" without the thought?
Possible ways to talk about the future of the EU today
After the rejection of the EU constitution in the French and Dutch referenda, Europe’s elites launched a one-year “pause for thought” in the ratification process. A summit in June 2006 brought an extension of the adjournment. The time could be put to good use, writes political scientist Jan-Werner Müller. Theoretically speaking, there are three Euro-visions currently competing; a discussion of their pros and cons would be well worth Europeans’ while.