Schmidt Gives WorldBoston Talk on Populism in Europe

September 26, 2019

Vivien SchmidtProfessor of International Relations and Political Science at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, gave a September 25, 2019 talk hosted by WorldBoston, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, on the rise of populism in Europe.

Schmidt gave a talk entitled “The Rise of Populism” as part of WorldBoston’s Great Decisions series —  the largest nonpartisan public education program on international affairs in the world. Created in the 1950s by the Foreign Policy Association, a sister World Affairs Council, Great Decisions engages citizens in learning about critical global issues and U.S. foreign policy.

You can watch the talk here:

Schmidt covered a range of topics including how mass migration, and the problems associated with it, have directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Her talk also examined how opposition to immigration was the prime driver of support for Brexit, brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s, and propelled Marine Le Pen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election.

Schmidt emphasized that in addition to calling for stronger borders, these parties are invariably illiberal, anti-American, anti-NATO and pro-Kremlin, making their rise a matter of serious concern for the national security interests of the United States.

WorldBoston fosters engagement in international affairs and cooperation with peoples of all nations. Through nationally-recognized global engagement and citizen diplomacy programs and community events, every year WorldBoston provides people from all over the world – and people right here – hundreds of opportunities for learning and connection. The WorldBoston community includes professionals in every field, including government, business, media, education, science, and the arts; young people; and citizen diplomats.

Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Boston University. Her research focuses on European political economy, institutions, democracy, and political theory. She has published a dozen books, over 200 scholarly journal articles or chapters in books, and numerous policy briefs and comments, most recently on the Eurozone crisis.  Her current work focuses on democratic legitimacy in Europe, with a special focus on the challenges resulting from the Eurozone crisis, and on methodological theory, in particular on the importance of ideas and discourse in political analysis (discursive institutionalism).  She is a 2018 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for a US-EU comparative study of the ‘rhetoric of discontent.’ She is a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor — France’s highest honor.

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