Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Edition 2015 (video)

Jos de Beus Lecture 2015 by Jan-Werner Mueller: What is Populism?

Date: 19 NOV 2015, 16.00-18.00 hrs.
Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229, Amsterdam

On 19 November 2015, Jan-Werner Mueller, Professor of Politics at Princeton University delivered the inaugural edition of the annual Jos de Beus Lecture Series, entitled “What is Populism?”

Abstract: The word ‘populism’ is omnipresent in political diagnoses of our time. Yet there is also much confusion on the meaning of the term: how can Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, Podemos and Marine Le Pen, Syriza and Geert Wilders, all fall within the same political category? The lecture proposes a theory of populism which identifies the latter as necessarily both anti-elitist and anti-pluralist. It also argues that populists, contrary to a wide-spread view, can govern and that their governing style will show particular characteristics which can best be explained by populism as a distinctly moral world view. The specific examples for understanding ‘populism in practice’ are Hungary and Turkey.

The inaugural Jos de Beus Lecture was organised in cooperation with the Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam.