Melnyk, Ljudmyla / Patalong, Magdalena / Sydorchuk, Oleksii, Think Tanks in Germany and Ukraine: Differences and Perspectives for Cooperation, February 2017
Which difficulties are Ukrainian think tanks facing today in Ukraine? What does the cooperation between German and Ukrainian think tanks look like? Which measures can Ukrainian think tanks take to strengthen their function as influential sociopolitical actors both within and beyond the Ukraine, to improve the way in which they are perceived and to facilitate the building of partnerships? These questions are addressed by the study “Think Tanks in Germany and Ukraine: Differences and Perspectives for Cooperation”, which contributes to the strengthening of Ukrainian think tanks’ expertise and institutional competence, as well as to the removal of barriers to their integration into the European research community.
Yearbook of European Integration 2016, December 2016
The “Yearbook of European Integration 2016” was published in December 2016, in times of multiple crises as well as growing Euroscepticism and populism in Europe. A special focus of this year’s edition is on the exit of Great Britain from the EU and tendencies of re-nationalisation and also on the unprecedented challenge that is the current migration crisis. The yearly guest editorial is written by Simon Bulmer and William Paterson, members of the scientific directorate of the IEP, who analyse “Germany’s role in the handling of the European monetary and refugee crisis”.
Integration 4/2016, December 2016
In the new issue of integration, Peter-Christian Müller-Graff analyses the legal situation of the European Union prior to the notification of Great Britain’s withdrawal from its membership in the Union, in case the result of the referendum will be ignored and after the notification to the European Council. Against the background of Europe’s multiple crises, Julia Klein deals with growing eurosceptical and populist tendencies in the European Union. She presents the ideological and strategical characteristics of europopulist parties and asks whether there is a genuine “europepopulism” in the European party system. The current Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) and why the European Union failed to provide a strong focus on a future-oriented growth policy is the main focus of Robert Kaiser’s and Heiko Prange-Gstöhl’s article. Christian Baldus analyses the role of private law in present security discourses in the light of changing narratives of European integration. Eckhard Jesse’s collective review discusses works on the current and future situation of European integration. Besides the report on IEP’s 2016 Annual Conference on challenges of the ‘refugee crisis’ for the European Union, the ‘Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration’ reports on conferences about Normative Power Europe, migration policy and data protection.
Bujard Birgit, After the Brexit vote: Quo vadis, Scotland? (TruLies Blog), February 2017
More than half a year after the Brexit vote, what are Scotland’s future prospects, particularly regarding independence? This is being discussed by Birgit Bujard in a new post on the TruLies blog. She describes how Scotland finds itself at a crossroads and must now weigh its options between its commitment to the EU on the one hand and the UK on the other: The governing Scottish National Party is very pro-European, and there was less opposition to immigration in Scotland than in the rest of Britain. Furthermore, EU membership is seen as strengthening the credibility of Scotland’s case for independence. Nevertheless, it was made clear after the Brexit vote that the EU did not want to be drawn into separate talks on Scotland’s future without the UK and it is unclear if there really is going to be another independence referendum. However, in any case, the Brexit will bring up the question of Scotland’s future governance, when competences are taken back from the EU.
Hartleb Florian, A Trumpetisation of European Politics? A Pessimistic Outlook on 2017 (TruLies Blog), January 2017
In Germany as in the rest of Europe, politics and media are struggling to find effective remedies for a new wave of populism. In the context of the migration crisis and an increased terrorist threat, Florian Hartleb sees a danger of demagogues finding popular support and surpassing all inhibition thresholds thought to be in place in a democracy by constantly breaking taboos. However, in his commentary he points out that even in the past, misrepresentations of the truth have always been a part of politics and that therefore, the so called post-factual times are not as novel a phenomenon as we might think. Nevertheless, he fears that nowadays, traditional media cannot reach the voters anymore since most of them are getting their news on social networks. Hartleb thus considers it to be Europe’s duty to strengthen trust in the institutions and find better responses to populists, lest there be civilizational setbacks.
Burmester Hanno, We Need Good Answers Now (TruLies Blog), January 2017
What can the Left learn from Donald Trump’s victory? In his blog, Hanno Burmester puts forward five hypotheses on the outcome of the US election and calls for a reorientation of those who are appalled by the Republican’s win. It is not enough, argues Burmester, to interpret Trump’s election as an error or the breach of a taboo. Rather, the Left has to learn that its old proposals – such as left-wing centrism or direct democracy – are not appropriate in times of strong polarization. The Left needs to provide good answers to pressing questions – otherwise, right-wing populism will continue to be successful in Europe as well.
Wodak Ruth, “Green against Blue” – Reflections on the 2016 Austrian Presidential Election (TruLies-Blog), December 2016
The 2016 election campaign President of Austria has been one of the dirtiest political campaigns in recent Austrian history. Especially candidate Norbert Hofer from the right-wing populist FPÖ party frequently used incorrect assertions and populist language, basing his discourse on fear. In this blog post, Prof. Dr. Ruth Wodak explains and analyses which strategies were being used by Hofer and the FPÖ, which societal conflict they build on and who votes for them.
Merkel Wolfgang, Trump and Democracy (TruLies Blog), December 2016
Democratic elections have reached a historic low with the US-American 2016 campaign. But does this mean that we are in a post-democratic age where they have lost all meaning and have become an empty ritual? Prof. Wolfgang Merkel argues that this is only half the truth. While this year’s campaigns were more about accusations and defamations than political content, there are clear programmatic differences between the Clinton and Trump election programs. Differences we will have to deal with, now that Donald Trump won the election and the Republicans have the majority in both Senate and House of Representatives. Merkel criticizes the majority voting and Electoral College system, which made this victory possible in the first place. Nevertheless, even representative Democracies are in danger of no longer representing all of society but lecturing condescendingly and thereby playing into the hands of right wing populist movements.
Probst Lothar, After Trump’s Success: A Convergence of the Populist Challenge (TruLies Blog), December 2016
Right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe as well as in the US. In this contribution, Lothar Probst points out that the creation of populist parties in Europe is not as recent a development as we like to think, roots going back to the 1970s. Today however, populist parties are no longer a marginal problem at the edge of the political spectrum but they achieved real influence on the political agenda and on government politics in Europe. Probst names reasons for the success of populist agendas and discourses, comparing the polarization of the main political camps in the US and the rise of populist movements such as the AfD in Europe. He demands political elites to the populists’ success as a sign for their failure to respond to the needs of the ordinary people, fight against corruption and bribery that ruin their reputation and open their doors to newcomers representing diversity and variety.
Lovec Marko, Between EU-phoria and EU-phobia – Populism in Slovenia (TruLies Blog), December 2016
Dr. Marco Lovec believes that Slovenia, contrary to many other Central and Eastern European new member states of the EU, has a strong commitment to the project of European integration. However, it is still transitioning into a fully functional liberal democracy, leading to a unique situation where populism takes the forms of both EU-phoria and EU-phobia with the two of them often being inextricably linked. Upon EU membership and due to economic growth, Slovenia was considered an ‘excellent student’ and public support for the EU was very high. Dr. Lovec traces how with the financial crisis and a following recession, Euroscepticism started to grow little by little and states that due to underdeveloped political culture, Slovenian politics is trapped in love-hate imaginary, which mixes half-truths with emotions triggered by unresolved issues.
Chiapponi Flavio, The Main Roots of Italian Populism (TruLies Blog), December 2016
Flavio Chiapponi outlines contemporary facets of populism in Italian politics by analyzing Italian history and the particular role of institutions. He points out that in Italy, not only movements or Parties such as Lega Nord and 5 Stelle, but also single politicians such as Silvio Berlusconi or even Matteo Renzi can be described as populist. Since populist tendencies have been a permanent feature of Italian politics since 1994, Chiapponi suspects that the success of Italian populism stems from structural characteristics. Voters have become more issue- and less ideology-oriented. Populist parties exploit the political discontent shared by many Italians and the increasing personalization of politics paved the way for populist success, since populism gives a clear priority to the immediate link and interaction between leader and followers. Combined with weak institutions, Chiapponi sees these factors as the reason for populist success which he believes to endure in the future.