Countering Populism Roundtable: Civil Society as a Countercheck to Populism?

The third countering populism roundtable took place in May 2017 and focussed on the question of how civil society can best counter populism.

With Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French Presidential election, liberal democratic Europe has escaped its potential demise. But in order to fight back right-wing populism in the longer term, we urgently need to address both its underlying issues and develop more sustainable counter strategies. One key question that needs to be addressed in this regard is what civil society can do and how it can be supported to counter – and, ideally prevent – right-wing populist sentiments?

To debate this issue, Das Progressive Zentrum and the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe organised an international roundtable with European experts. The overarching goal of the roundtable was for participants to come together in a targeted dialogue to discuss concrete measures to strengthen democracy, civil society, and participation. We were honoured to hear insights from the following distinguished speakers from five European countries:

  • Carlo Ruzza, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Trento
  • Juliana Wahlgren, Senior Advocacy and Network Development Officer at the European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
  • Gary Schaal, Professor of Politics at Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
  • Silvia Nicola,Civic Educator and Trainer at Europe 360 Degrees, Kreisau-Initiative
  • René Cuperus, Director of International Relations at the Wiardi Beckman Foundation
  • Manuel Gonçalves Gil, Policy Officer at the European Youth Forum

If you have any questions concerning the roundtable or the project, please contact Sven Altenburger. Run in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Families, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth as part of the federal programme Demokratie leben!.

Countering Populism FINAL Logos

Claire Caruth

published on

17 May 2017