Accepted Paper:

The linguistical iron curtain - has the West "cried populism"?  


Krzysztof Krzystek (University of Lodz)

Paper short abstract:

Populism is spreading across Europe. But is populism in Central and Western Europe the same? Does it perceive development cooperation the same way? The author argues that this is not the case and that different past will lead to different results for Western and Central European populist movements.

Paper long abstract:

In 2004 Central Europe united with Western Europe becoming one European family. However, the recent surge in populism originating in CE showed a lack of understanding between the two groups.

The speech aims to present the differences in world-view, which often get lost in translation, due to both sides using the same terminology, but ignoring the different past and experiences of the two groups. This may lead to mistakes in judgment of the political scene or confusion about the reasons behind certain choices. For example, why is Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, considered a progressive left-wing politician in the West, while in Poland he is considered right wing? Consequently - how far right is the current right wing government of Poland? How populist is it really? A genuine understanding is crucial if Europe is to progress and work together for international development.

In the first part of the speech, the author presents the impact that the communist past of CE has on the general world-view and sentiment among the people. Following that, the author explains what impact the lack of colonial past by the CE States has on the depiction of developing countries, the attitude towards the refugee crisis, refugees, minorities and foreign aid.

The author argues that "populist movements" in CE and West are different and what was labeled as "populism" by the West isn't seen as "populist uprising" in CE. Consequently, the knee-jerk reaction against CE may have given unreasonable fuel to populists in the West.

Panel G1
The rise of populism and development cooperation