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Confronting the populist wave

As part of our ongoing work on populism, on October 14 we are running an interactive workshop in Brussels on responding to populist politics hosted by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS). The workshop will take place from 12.30 to 14.30 at the FEPS office in Rue Montoyer 40 – 1000 Brussels.

In recent years, populist parties have become a solidifying presence on Europe’s political scene. Despite claims that populism is just a ‘flash in the pan’ and will disintegrate before long, populist parties have continued to prosper and in some countries have achieved a remarkable level of political influence. In last May’s European Parliament elections, populist parties topped the polls in the UK, France and Denmark; in last week’s general election in Sweden, the populist radical right Sweden Democrats more than doubled its previous score to achieve third place.

In the aftermath of these results, our workshop offers an opportunity to explore why this has happened and what mainstream parties can do in response. What are the roots of populism’s appeal? How can a counter-narrative to populism be built? And who should mainstream voters target? In this interactive workshop, we will explore how best to address populism, focusing on policy, strategy and rhetoric.

The workshop will include fresh analysis of electoral data and group debate on new strategies for countering populist parties. It will be facilitated by Marley Morris from Counterpoint and David Kitching from FEPS. We will offer a light lunch at 12.30 and then begin the workshop at 13.00.

RSVP to Marley Morris at to confirm your place. Spaces are limited so please book as soon as you can.


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