The Populist Moment and the Future of Democracy

In January 2018 the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office started its new lecture series "Rethinking Europe" and invited the political theorist Chantal Mouffe for her lecture "The Populist Moment and the Future of Democracy", which has been attended by more than 140 people.

Mouffe based her main thesis – that the growing right wing populism could only be countered by a strategic populism from the left – on an extensive analysis of today’s crisis of political representation due to the neoliberal consensus of the center. This consensus has caused the blurring of the political frontier between the right and the left and could be identified as the responsible factor for the loss of real choice between political alternatives. The success of right wing populism would have been able to grow on this post-political breeding ground.

Mouffe argues that a left populism which is able to re-define the political frontiers and articulate heterogeneous democratic demands would be the only way to oppose right wing populism. The goal should be to create an inclusive political "us", which would deepen radical democratic processes beyond today’s western-liberal understanding of democracy and would restore popular sovereignty. Mouffe advocates for the Left to recognize the importance of common affects and of passion allowing to build collective identities. Only through mobilization of these passions the common will for equality and social justice could and should combat the xenophobic policies by right wing parties.

Video

Full lecture by Chantal Mouffe (50:23 Min.)

Focus on the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office (4:40 Min.)

Picture Gallery

democracy, Europe, populism