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Populism and democracy: Friends or foes?, Online

De letters WWW staan op het scherm
Kevin Bergenhenegouwen
datum 19 februari 2020 20:00
locatie Online Toon locatie
aanwezigen J. (Judith) Sargentini, S.L. (Sarah) de Lange e.a.
organisatie Pakhuis De Zwijger

Political systems in Europe are in turmoil. Long-established parties see their electoral support decline. At the same time, new parties, often labelled as ‘populist’, have come to the fore. Do these parties bring new vitality to the democratic system or do they threaten to undermine it? In this event we discuss the different experiences across Europe.

With amongst others

Ben Crum

Professor of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sarah de Lange

Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science (UvA)

Judith Sargentini

Dutch politician and former Member of the European Parliament

Barbara Grabowska-Moroz

Postdoc researcher at the University of Groningen

Paul Blokker

Associate professor in political sociology at the Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Italy

  • Ben Crum is Professor of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and a work package leader in the Horizon2020 RECONNECT project (see below). Crum’s research focusses on the effect of internationalization on democracy and solidarity in Europe. He has published widely in academic and more popular journals and is the author of Learning from the EU Constitutional Treaty (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor (with John Erik Fossum) of Practices of Inter-Parliamentary Coordination in International Politics.
  • Sarah L. de Lange is Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, where she holds the Dr. J.M. Den Uyl chair. Her main research interests concern parties, party families, and party systems, and in particular the rise of radicalism, populism, and extremism in contemporary democracies. Her work is broad in geographical scope and examines party politics in a range of European countries.
  • Judith Sargentini is a former member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Green Party, GroenLinks. During her ten years as an MEP she was active in various files concerning Home Affairs such as Rule of Law, Fundamental Rights, asylum and migration, dataprotection and security. Sargentini is the author of the Article 7(1) TEU report on the state of Rule of Law and democracy in Hungary. Sargentini studied history at the University of Amsterdam, has been a member of Amsterdam City Council, worked in development cooperation and just returned from volunteering for the UNHCR in Niger.
  • Barbara Grabowska-Moroz is a postdoc researcher at the University of Groningen. Previously, she was affiliated with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, where she was responsible for activities including monitoring the legislative process in the area of the justice system and human rights. Her expertise is in the functioning of the justice system, implementation of the right to a fair trial, rule of law and the functioning of prosecutors and security services in Poland.
  • Paul Blokker is associate professor in political sociology at the Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Italy. He is also research coordinator at the Institute of Sociological Studies, Charles University Prague, Czechia. His research focusses on populism, a sociology of constitutions, constitutional politics, and democratic participation.


This evening is organised by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the context of the RECONNECT-project. RECONNECT is a four-year multidisciplinary research project on ‘Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law’, aimed at understanding and providing solutions to the recent challenges to politics in the European Union (EU). With a focus on strengthening the legitimacy of EU politics through the core values of democracy and the rule of law, RECONNECT seeks to build a new narrative for Europe, enabling the EU to become more attuned to the expectations of its citizens. RECONNECT brings together 18 academic partner institutions from 14 countries.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no 770142.

Also see

Blog: Democratic Backsliding and Democratic Renewal

RECONNECT Blog on ‘Three Cautionary Notes on the Identification of Democratic Backsliding (and Democratic Renewal) by Ben Crum, Alvaro Oleart and Patrick Overeem. >>

Webinar: Populism as a Constitutional Project

RECONNECT Webinar 1 by Paul Blokker on 'Populism as a Constitutional Project’. >>


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