Europe’s Center Has Held, but at What Cost?

A police officer patrols alongside a steel wall at Evros river, near the village of Poros, at the Greek-Turkish border, Greece, May 21, 2021 (AP photo by Giannis Papanikos).
A police officer patrols alongside a steel wall at Evros river, near the village of Poros, at the Greek-Turkish border, Greece, May 21, 2021 (AP photo by Giannis Papanikos).
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Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Judah Grunstein is filling in this week for Howard French, who will return next week. Has the center held in Europe? The obvious answer would seem to be yes. As has been widely noted, parties on the extremes lost ground in Germany’s election this weekend compared to 2017. And across Europe, far-right and anti-establishment parties similarly seem to be receding in electoral and political relevance. But in other ways, the picture is less heartening, as the impact those parties have had on political discourse has mainstreamed a brand of anti-immigrant, identity-based closure that calls into question […]

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