Why Europe Is Not Out of the Woods Yet When It Comes to Populism

Firebrand anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders casts his ballot in the Dutch general elections, The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).
Firebrand anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders casts his ballot in the Dutch general elections, The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).
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European progressives are feeling cautiously optimistic. Last year, in the shadow of the United Kingdom’s shock referendum vote for Brexit and then the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, many in Europe were fearful of a so-called contagion effect. With looming elections in the Netherlands and Austria, European leaders braced for their own populist backlash against liberalism, the European Union and international free trade. Inspired by Trump and against the backdrop of a pan-European refugee crisis, populist nationalists seemed poised to reimpose themselves onto the political agenda. Once again, a major crisis loomed on the horizon […]

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