A Trumpetisation of European Politics? A Pessimistic Outlook on 2017 (TruLies Blog by Florian Hartleb)

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.

Dr. Florian Hartleb is a political scientist and author. His commentary is a summary of the findings of his book “The hour of populists. How our politics are being trumpe­tised and what we can do to stop it” (published at Wochen­schau-Verlag).

The project “TruLies – The Truth about Lies on Europe”, aided by the Stiftung Mercator and run by the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in cooper­ation with Das Progressive Zentrum, has two principal objec­tives. On the one hand, it strives to decon­struct Eurosceptic and populist preju­dices, animosities, and false asser­tions, by means of social scien­tif­i­cally-grounded analysis. Thus, it aims to contribute to a ratio­nal­i­sation of the public discourse and debate in Germany (and beyond). On the other hand, “TruLies Europe” endeavours to publicly commu­nicate its findings beyond the select circle of scholars to political actors, civil society, and the wider public. You may find further infor­mation on our website: http://trulies-europe.de/.

Florian Hartleb’s contri­bution can be found here.