DEMOS Leader Zsolt Boda Says "Populism Challenges Institutions of Liberal Democracies"

Populism is a complex term usually carrying a negative connotation, often associated with leaders who criticize the elite—be it political, academic or scientific—that their citizens view, and react to, with skepticism. Scholars have tried to define the term and label parties and politicians as such, but the H2020 Research and Innovation Action project DEMOS seeks to go beyond that, taking into account both the individual level, psychological roots of populist attitudes and describing the features and consequences of populist governance. In an interview for the Hungarian radio channel Civil Rádió on March 6Zsolt Boda, the leader of DEMOS, spoke about the goals of the project. One of them is to cover populism through multiple manifestations across Europe and beyond, shedding light on its varieties, how populism relates to specific cultural contexts, and how different social actors react to the challenges of populism.

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About our Institute

The primary objective of the Institute for Political Science of MTA Centre for Social Sciences is to conduct basic research in political science. Researchers at the Institute conduct both theoretical and empirical research, and the results are disseminated to both the academic and general public at scientific and professional forums.

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Jennifer McCoy: Populist Message of ‘We’ Versus ‘They’ Dehumanizes the Other Side

Jennifer McCoy: Populist Message of ‘We’ Versus ‘They’ Dehumanizes the Other Side

Populism is not always bad, but a populist political message can divide societies between “us” and “them”, explains Jennifer McCoy, a distinguished professor of political science at Georgia State University and a senior core fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University. In a new episode of DEMOS interviews on YouTube, McCoy discusses the main features and negative consequences of populism for democracy, like a deep political polarization, and how society can detect and react to them.

David Wineroither Writes Op-Ed for Austrian Der Standard on British Tory Brexiteers

David Wineroither Writes Op-Ed for Austrian Der Standard on British Tory Brexiteers

Political scientist David M. Wineroither, DEMOS researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, wrote an op-ed for the Austrian national daily Der Standard. In his piece, Wineroither summarizes the structural inability for collective leadership on behalf of British Tory Brexiteers—a feature to characterize both the political ascendancy of Boris Johnson and populists in the majority of countries on the continent

In the Name of People

In the Name of People

Are all political discourses evoking the role of the people in democracies necessarily populists? Check out DEMOS Budapest-based researcher Gabriella Szabó's blog post on the topic and on populist communication techniques for more.

DEMOS Expert Says Abuse of Referenda is Typical of Populist Parties

DEMOS Expert Says Abuse of Referenda is Typical of Populist Parties

Jose Maria Castellà, professor at the University of Barcelona and leader of the Spanish team in DEMOS, said that the use and abuse of referenda on any subject in contemporary democracies are typical of populist parties. “These parties tend to claim that institutions of representative democracy are not representing the so called true people, and present their political action as a direct enactment of people’s will,” Castella, also a member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, told “Expansión”, Spain’s leading business newspaper. The interview, on the rise and impacts of populist politics in Europe, came out on the eve of Spain’s elections.