|Zsolt Boda: Polarization and the disintegration of the polity. Reflections on populism and the future of liberal democracies
|Konferencia kiadvány / Conference Paper
|Év / Year
I was asked to elaborate some thoughts on the topic of “The future of liberal democracies: The rise of populism”. The title of the topic suggests that populism is and will continue to be on rise. It also implies that the future of liberal democracy is intertwined with the populist phenomenon. Although I am uncertain about the growing prospects of populism, my prediction is that it will indeed stay with us for some more time, and I agree that it will impact liberal democracy, for better or worse. Therefore, I focus on the second implication of the topic title. I share those wide-spread concerns which consider populism a potential threat to liberal democracy and I will point to a specific consequence of populist politics which is the polarization of the polity and the erosion of democratic norms. However, I also argue that populism is more than simply a threat to liberal democracy: it is also a warning sign of some deep, structural problems of today’s socio-political systems and, as such, will presumably not go away until those problems, like growing inequalities in income and influence, persist. From this perspective the paradox of populism lies in that it is a reaction to the disintegration of the polity while it is also contributing to its further fragmentation, which, I believe, is one of the greatest challenges of today’s politics.
Uncertain Times: The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations from the Perspective of NGOs and Think Tanks in Central Europe and Hungary
- online webinar series organised by the Hungarian Europe Society -
Third Debate - The future of liberal democracies: The rise of populism
4 February 2021, Thursday 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. (CET)