The IES European Transition Speaker Series: Oliver Schmidtke

February 12, 2021

12:15pm – 1:30pm
Oliver Schmidtke, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Centre for Global Studies, Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics, University of Victoria

The Spectre of Populism: A Threat to Liberal Democracy?

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Western democracies are confronted with the rise of populist parties that are fueled by strong anti-establishment sentiments. In particular right-wing, nationalist forces have gained considerable support with their anti-immigrant agenda and changed the landscape of party politics throughout Europe and North America. What we have witnessed with the surge of right-wing populism is a profound weakening of democratic processes and institutions (constitutional division of power, free press, and independent judiciary). The presentation will consider the driving forces behind the electoral success of right-wing populism and the effects it has on liberal democracy.


Oliver Schmidtke is a Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Victoria where he also holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics. He received his PhD from the European University Institute in Florence. He currently serves as the director of the Centre for Global Studies in Victoria. His research interests are in the fields of the politics and governance of migration, citizenship, nationalism, and populism.