Monthly Archives: June 2015
The 2014 European elections confirmed the prominence in the media of what is commonly called the far right. While parties such as the Front National and UKIP were successful in the elections, their performance has since been exaggerated and they have benefited from a disproportionate coverage. Aiding their apparently ‘irresistible rise’, their normalisation was greatly facilitated by their description as ‘populist’ parties. However, while this term ‘populism’ has been almost universally accepted in the media, it remains a hotly debated concept on the academic circuit, and its careless use could in fact prove counterproductive in the assessment of the current state of democracy in Europe. Instead of focusing on the reasons behind the rise of these parties, similarities and differences already widely covered in the literature, this article hypothesises that a skewed and disproportionate coverage of the European elections in particular, and the ‘rise’ of ‘right-wing populism’ in general, have prevented a thorough democratic discussion from taking place and impeded the possibility of other political alternatives.
Published in French Politics, 13(2), (June 2015), pp. 141-156, DOI:10.1057/fp.2015.6, http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fp/journal/v13/n2/abs/fp20156a.html
Published in Green European Journal, 9/6/2015, http://www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/the-only-mobility-is-downward-mobility-how-the-far-right-exploits-societies-deepest-fears/
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, neoliberal governments embarked on austerity programs that include reducing public services, imposing public sector wage restraint, and reorganizing public sector working conditions and labour relations. In this context of economic crisis and austerity, populism has risen across North America and Europe on both the right and left of the political spectrum. The rise of right populism in particular confronts unions with key organizational and strategic challenges as neoliberal governments seek to mobilize right populist discourses in their efforts to restructure work and labour relations. Using a socio-geographic framework, and based on an examination of post-2008 legislative and policy measures undertaken at the federal, provincial, municipal levels in Canada, this paper explores the nexus between “uneven austerity”, rising populism, and union strategic capacities. We examine this intersection of austerity and populism at multiple scales to reveal the implications for organized labour.
Article first published online: 8 JUNE 2015, Antipode, DOI: 10.1111/anti.12162, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/anti.12162/abstract