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Seminar: Declining Europe? The Challenge of Populism, East and West


During recent years, a new brand of populism has emerged in Eastern European countries and has in some cases even penetrated their governing political parties. At the same time, the deepening of the political process in the Western parts of Europe has also its own brand of populism. How shall we evaluate today’s populism? What do we mean by the term? Very different aspects of the political spectrum seem to be explained by the term right-wing populism. In this context, our speakers are invited to reflect on the spectrum of populism in contemporary Europe and its implications for democracy, inter-ethnic and inter-state relations, and the future of European integration.

Europeanization and Globalization is a cross-border cooperation between Department of Culture and Identity & Department of Society and Globalization, Roskilde University, and Department of Global political studies & Department of Language, Migration and Society, Malmö University. The aim of the cooperation is to develop a field of knowledge that focus on the inner life of the Oresund region, and the international position of the region. The purpose with this partnership is to focus on the processes (Europeanization and globalization) that creates pressure for change both locally, regionally, nationally and supranational.
The researchers from the Danish and Swedish research environment, which is the foundation of this field of knowledge, will broadly examine the issues and themes that both the cross-border and the national processes of change are currently undergoing. In addition to this, international expertise will be invited to each seminar to discuss issues from a global perspective.


Ruth Wodak is Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University. She is currently Past-President of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, and member of the Academia Europaea. Besides various other prizes, she was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize for Elite Researchers in 1996. In 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Örebro University, and in 2011, she received the Großes Silbernes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (“Big Decoration in Silver for Services to the Austrian Republic”). She is member of the editorial board of a range of linguistic journals and co-editor of the journals Discourse and Society, Critical Discourse Studies, and Journal of Language and Politics. She has held visiting professorships in Uppsala, Stanford University, University Minnesota, University of East Anglia, Georgetown University, and University Örebro.
Her recent book publications are The Politics of Exclusion: Debating Migration in Austria (Transaction Publishers, 2008), The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics (Sage, 2010) and The Discourse of Politics in Action: Politics as Usual (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Anders Hellström is a Postdoc Researcher at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM). His research involves populism, nationalism and European integration. He has published articles about government and opposition, ethnicities, the European legacy, European societies in e.g. Journal of Language and Politics and Geografiska Annaler. He co-edited a volume on pathways to citizenship in Swedish, Vägar till medborgarskap (Arkiv förlag, 2011) and has also published a book on the public debate on the Sweden Democrats in Sweden, also in Swedish Vi är De Goda (Tankekraft förlag, 2010).

Constantin Iordachi is Associate Professor of History at the Central European University, Budapest, co-director of Pasts, Center for Historical Studies, and associate editor of the journal East-Central Europe (Brill, 2012). His publications include Charisma, Politics and Violence: The Legion of the Archangel Michael in Inter-war Romania (Trondheim, 2004) and Citizenship, Nation and State-Building: The Integration of Northern Dobrogea in Romania, 1878-1913 (Pittsburgh, 2002).
He is also the editor of ‘Fascism in East-Central and South-Eastern Europe: A Reappraisal’, Special Issue, East-Central Europe (vol. 37, no. 2-3, 2010) and Comparative Fascist Studies: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2009, 2010). He is co-editor of Transforming People, Property and Power: The Process of Land Collectivization in Romania, 1949-1962 (CEU Press, 2009) and România si Transnistria: Problema Holocaustului: Perspective istorice si comparative (Curtea Veche, 2004).


13.00-13.10 Introduction
Hans-Åke Persson, Professor, Roskilde University

13.10-14.15 A Politics of Fear? Analyzing Populist Right Wing
Rhetoric Across Europe
Ruth Wodak, Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies,
Lancaster University (Abstract)

14.15-14.30 Coffee Break

14.30-16.30 Panel Discussion

National Myth-Making and Populist Mobilization
in Scandinavia

Anders Hellström, Postdoc, Malmö University (Abstract)

Fascism or New Nationalism? Reflections on the
Revival of the Extreme Right in Europe

Constantin Iordachi, Associate Professor, Central European
University, Budapest (Abstract)
Susi Meret, Associate Professor, Aalborg University (Abstract)

Moderator: Cecilie Stokholm Banke, Senior Researcher, DIIS

Practical Information

The seminar will be held in English.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please register no later than Monday, 16 April 2012 at 12.00 noon.

Sted Danish Institute for International Studies, Main Auditorium, Strandgade 71, ground floor, 1401 Copenhagen K