New Populisms and the European Right and Far Right Parties: Challenge to and Perspectives of the Left

Casa della Cultura
Via Borgogna 3

New populisms are haunting Europe. These populisms are characteristic of the parties of the European political Right, both in the West and in the East. New waves of old discriminations, from the social, cultural, political, racial etc. points-of-view, are heightened by new discriminations due to the changes in the contemporary world.

The context of the global crisis of capitalism and the environmental and climate crisis triggers the dynamics of a management of “fear” and of “emergency”. Popular strata and the lower strata of the middle classes of European societies form the mass basis of these populisms and these parties of the Right. The “construction of an enemy” constitutes the cultural background of legitimacy of the ruling classes.

The aim of the meeting is to analyse the new phenomena and to discuss the conduct and the state of the European Left parties and social movements, grappling with the new context, and with the old problems of redefinition of traditional political and organizational forms.

The workshop will be organized by transform! europe, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and Associazione Culturale Punto Rosso, with the contribution of GUE/NGL.


Friday, 9 March, 15:00-20:00

A general introduction (by a Punto Rosso representative)


Session I (1st part)

– Introduction by Walter Baier – Nationalism and Populism in Europe

A theoretical framework: the crisis of capitalism and the cultures and subcultures that express it

– Populism as a theoretical concept (Ernesto Laclau, University of Essex)

– New populisms vs. old populisms: the case of Front National in France (René Monzat)

– Labour and populism: the cleavage between “skilled” and “unskilled” labour and precarious work (Andrea Fumagalli, University of Pavia)

The cases and the national realities

– Greece (Dimostenis Papadatos-Anagnostopoulos)

– Sweden (n.n.)

– Austria (Bernhard Heinzlmaier)

– Italy: Lega Nord and Berlusconi’s populism (Roberto Biorcio, University of Milan-Bicocca)

Saturday, 10 March, 9:30-18:30


Session I (2nd part), 9:30

The cases and the national realities (second part)

– Hungary (n.n.)

– The European far-Right landscape with special attention Eastern European populisms and far-Right parties (Saverio Ferrari, Osservatorio Democratico Italia)

The European Right as expression of a crisis of traditional attitudes and the new context

– Right-wing fraction in the European Parliament, right European parties, right-wing alternatives for the European Union (Thilo Janssen)


Session II (1st part), until 13:00

The European Left: crisis of the traditional approach and the new context

– Contributions by Elisabeth Gauthier, Haris Golemis, Mimmo Porcaro


Session II (2nd part), 15:00–18:30

Final round table

The challenge for the Left: new perspectives for new tasks

– Introduction by Walter Baier

– Contributions by Luciana Castellina (former EP), Hans van Heijningen (tbc), Susanna Camusso (National Secretary of CGIL), Michael Brie (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation), and a representative of the European Left Party