Milada Anna Vachudova
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Professor Vachudova will explore how the rise in support for populist parties has shaped party systems in Europe over the last decade, focusing on ethnopopulist parties -- parties that make strong anti-pluralist appeals, vilifying individuals, groups and institutions labeled as culturally harmful. When in power, ethnopopulist parties use these appeals to justify the concentration of power -- and this playbook has helped bring authoritarian rule to Hungary while Poland stands on the brink. She unpacks why ethnopopulism has become a challenge to liberal democracy in Europe, how oppositions have responded -- and why EU member governments have shown such complacency and cynicism in countering it. This has led to the risk of a decoupling of the EU from the regime type of liberal democracy. Yet Russia's war against Ukraine is changing political contestation related to liberal democracy and to relations with Russia in key states including Poland and Germany. Professor Vachudova will close by reflecting on Ukraine's challenge to the European Union -- and whether and how the EU enlargement process can be revived as a tool of EU foreign policy.
Europe Today Lecture Series: Ethnopopulism and Authoritarian Rule in the European Union
Wednesday, February 8