As ‘confirmed’ by the 2019 European elections results, not only is populism a political factor that shouldn’t be ignored, its roots are increasingly branching out into metropolitan and urban societies all across Europe. To face its challenges, it is crucial to go beyond the popular narratives and understand its complexities on a micro-,meso- and macro-level.
Through the Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe (DEMOS) project, we have set out to do precisely that by focusing not only on polity, but equally on citizens’ perspectives of populism. The project is built on the assumption that populism is symptomatic of disconnect between how democratic polities operate and how citizens perceive their own aspirations, needs and identities within the political system. As such, DEMOS explores the practical value of ’democratic efficacy’ as the condition of political engagement needed to address the challenge of populism.
To kick off the launch of the DEMOS website, ECAS Executive Director Assya Kavrakova shared her insight on the populism phenomenon and the variety of factors that are at interplay for its growth. In her blog post “Understanding Populism Beyond the Popular Narratives Is the Game Changer of Tomorrow”, she presents key findings of the Societies outside Metropolises: the role of civil society organisations in facing populism, which was commissioned by the Diversity Group of the European Economic and Social Committee and carried out by ECAS.
Access the full blog post here.
Access the full populism study and an executive summary of its findings here.