UCL European Institute


Left-wing populism

Led by Prof. Philippe Marlière, this strand will question whether left-wing politics can ever be popular in Europe.
Two events

1. One major public event with a keynote speaker or a panel of experts (academics and practitioners).

2. A one-day academic workshop with scholars who research populism.

New academic volume

‘Left-wing populism’ is a major development in European politics, but has received less attention than right-wing and far-right wing forces. Podemos in Spain, France Insoumise in France, Sahra Wagenknecht’s Aufstehen movement in Germany, and even Syriza, the governing party in Greece, or Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party have, to various degrees, embraced the rhetoric and strategy of populism. 

In academia, authors have started to take the issue seriously. Chantal Mouffe, for instance, argues that our ‘contemporary populist moment’ represents an opportunity for democratic reinvigoration through the formation of left-wing populism in the name of radical democracy (For a Left Populism, Verso, 2018). But is populism is the best strategy to broaden the left’s electorate? Can left-wing populism really help the left recapture disenfranchised popular categories?

As part of the work package, Prof. Marlière will edit a new academic volume, drawing on participants in his workshop and public panel session, as well as on guest contributors and his own current research.