After Trump’s Success: A Convergence of the Populist Challenge (TruLies Blog by Lothar Probst)

"democracy-is-a-good-idea" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Alex Schlotzer

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.

This contri­bution is based on a lecture of Lothar Probst on the topic of „The Populist Challenge“. Lothar Probst is Professor for Political Science at the University of Bremen.

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:

Lothar Probst’s contri­bution can be found here.