Between Lenin and Le Pen: Left and Right Populisms, East and West

Thursday, July 13, 2017
JWS - Room J15 (J375) (University of Glasgow)
Luke March , University of Edinburgh
To what degree has the Great Recession involved greater competition or collaboration between radical left and radical right? To some, not least many on the radical left themselves, the radical left and radical right are antitheses, and indeed combatting the rise of the latter is a major strategic aim. Yet some analysts (e.g. Halikiopolou et al) regard the two ‘extremes’ as more similar than they would pretend, particularly as regards ideological-strategic prescriptions (such as their nationalist Euroscepticism). The rise of new catch-all and ‘patriotic’ left-wing populists in Spain and (above all) Greece, would appear to confirm this thesis.

This paper examines the extent of policy competition and/or contamination between radical left and radical right. There will be a pan-European focus, analysing potential differences between Eastern and Western Europe, but particular focus will be put on the case studies of the UK, Greece, Latvia and Poland.