On Tuesday the 19th June 2018, De Balie talked to the ex-Trotzkyist Frank Furedi about the political trajectory which has led to him expressing sympathy with Orbán and becoming an advocate of national identity in his latest work.
Instead of trying to understand the voters of populist and nationalist parties, we often tend to dismiss them as racists, xenophobes and second-class citizens. In this discussion, De Balie will look to change perspectives through an in-depth discussion with the ex-sociology professor, Frank Furedi.
In his latest book, Populism and the European Culture Wars, Furedi defends the rights of the Hungarian and Polish people to be Christian, conservative and, above all, nationalist.
Furedi claims that the EU adopts a neo-colonial attitude towards Eastern European countries and imposes so-called European values on them. He states that this is a dangerous approach and that EU should avoid the imposition of, for example, refugee quotas on Hungary, as these will be counterproductive. For Furedi, we can only explain the current populist tendencies in Eastern Europe, by looking into the roots and history of the societies in which these tendencies have emerged.
Given his left-wing and irreligious background, what has made Furedi change his mind about how we should understand the current populist turn in Europe, in particular in Hungary and Poland? How do Furedi’s explanations for Hungary and Poland relate to the increase in populism in the rest of Europe? And, what does this tell us about our shared European values?
To see Frank Furedi elaborate on these questions in conversation with Yoeri Albrecht, you can either watch the video highlights at the top of this page or access a full-length recording of the discussion by clicking here.
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Frank Furedi is a sociologist, author and social commentator, who grew up in Hungary and Canada before moving to England. Formerly, a professor of sociology at the University of Canterbury, Furedi has used his academic insights to produce a series of agenda-setting books that have been widely discussed in the media.
Furedi is a regular feature as a commentator on radio and television shows and has appeared on Newsnight, Sky News and BBC News. As well his extensive bibliography, Furedi also regularly publishes essays on a variety of issues. His latest book is entitled Populism and the European Culture Wars focuses particularly on the conflict between Hungary and the European Commission and critiques the outcry surrounding populism, seeing it as a sign of distrust in citizens’ ability to act responsibly.
Yoeri Albrecht – Director of De Balie
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- European Disunion by Yascha Mounk
- New Frank Furedi book puts focus on Europe’s populism by Martin Herrema
- Populism: a defence by Frank Furedi
- The era of populism – seasonal fluctuation or permanent change? by Hannu-Pekka Ikäheimo
- The populist moment by Ivan Krastev
- Three paradoxes fuel the drift towards populism in Europe by the CEU
- Dilemmas of post-liberalism
- Europe and its dissenters – with Gisela Stuart
- Good populism, bad populism
- Is there a culture war against populism?
- People’s populism versus democracy of the elites?
- Should we be afraid of populism?
- The Hungarian far-right in the light of the election results
- Understanding the populist turn: populism, an east-west divide?
- Understanding the populist turn: 10 lessons on populism
This debate is part of Time to Talk‘s Understanding the Populist Turn: The Ex-Debates series and has been supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundation Institute in cooperation with the OSIFE of the Open Society Foundations.