The political economy of populism in Europe


This event, hosted by UK think tank Chatham House will discuss the political economy of populism in Europe.

Populist challengers to the political establishment have emerged across Europe in recent years, with both right-wing and left-wing movements and parties gaining traction. With populist challengers remaining strong in the polls across Europe, not least in France ahead of the presidential election later this year, it remains highly relevant to discuss the drivers of this phenomenon. But few theories of populism are able to explain its heterogeneity – that is, why particular populist movements emerge in particular places at particular times.

In a recent paper for the Europe Programme, Philip Manow put forward a theory of populism that can explain why some countries and moments in time have seen the rise of right-wing populism, while in others it has been mainly left-wing. The paper treats populism as a reaction to the distributional conflicts resulting from ‘hyperglobalization’ and connects its drivers to specific economic and political contexts.

Together with Dani Rodrik and Sheri Berman, Philip will discuss his findings and discuss the following questions:

Is the differential impact of hyperglobalization the correct explanation for both the rise of populism and its different guises?

What are the specific political and economic conditions that provide a basis for the emergence of populist protest?

What does this tell us about the sorts of policy responses to address the causes of populist protest throughout Europe?

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