Challenges to European Integration: Populism, New Authoritarianism, and Radical Politics

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 6:00pm
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 6:00pm to Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 7:00pm

Organized by Pasts, Center for Historical Studies, CEU, Budapest and the Network for European Studies, University of Helsinki


While largely consensual, the EU's Eastern enlargement (2004; 2007) and the deepening of the integration process to new social and political levels have also exacerbated anti-integration political movements in numerous member states. Although these movements are very diverse regarding the social actors involved and their specific concerns, certain pan-continental trends can be nevertheless identified, revolving around an authoritarian political agenda informed by populism, nationalism, and even irredentism. In this context, our workshop invites critically minded scholars and journalists to reflect on the spectrum of authoritarian and extreme rightwing politics in contemporary Europe and its implications for the evolution of democracy, inter-ethnic and inter-state relations, and the future direction of the process of European integration. Participants are invited to review these issues at theoretical or empirical levels, informed by case studies in East and West alike. The discussion will be organized around three inter-related clusters:  1) the spectrum of populism and authoritarianism; 2) the spectrum of ultra-nationalism and extreme-right politics; and 3) attacks on the freedom of media and their impact on democracy.

The workshop is part of the project "What Past for What Future? ─ What History for What Europe? A series of reflection meetings on the prospects of Europe," initiated by the Network for European Studies (NES), University of Helsinki, a research unit founded in 2002 to promote the study of European issues ( ). The project "What Past for What Future?" is coordinated by Bo Stråth, Professor, Finnish Academy Distinguished Chair in Nordic, European and World History, University of Helsinki and is managed by a consortium of four partner universities: University of Helsinki, the Max Planck Institute for Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, University College London, and the Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, CEU. For further details see 


Thursday, 19 October

9:00 to 9:30

Opening session

Speakers: Bo Stråth, University of Helsinki and  Constantin Iordachi, Central European University

9:30 to 11:00

Panel 1:  The Rise of Radical Right in Europe

Chair:  Bo Stråth, Professor, University of Helsinki

Don Kalb: "Neoliberalism and the parochialization of European societies"

  • Fernando Rosas: “The second historical crisis of liberal systems and the new path of authoritarianism in Europe
  • András Tóth and István Grajczjár: "The fourth wave. National Radicalism and the emergence of new wave of extreme right in Europe"

11:00--11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 to 13:00

Panel 2: The Radical Right: Parties and the Media

Chair: Julian Casanova, Professor, University of Zaragoza 

  • José Reis Santos, "Discourse and rhetoric. ‘Left-right’ division in contemporary European landscape"
  • Zsolt Enyedi, Professor, Political Science Department, CEU, Budapest: "Extremist vs. Populist parties"
  • Marsha Siefert, Associate Professor, History Department, CEU, Budapest, "European Media Watchdogs: Monitoring, Press Freedom and Politics"

13:00 to 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 to 16:00

Panel 3: The Radical Right: Ideological Aspects

Chair:  Martin Krygier, Professor, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

  • Gwen Jones, "Notions of European culture and civilisation on the radical right"
  • Heino Nyyssönen:  "We, the Hungarian nation"
  • Constantin Iordachi: "Neo-Fascism or New Nationalism? Reflections on the Ideology of the Extreme Right in Europe"

16:00--16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 to 18:00 

Panel 4: "Populism in Contemporary Europe" 

Chair: Balazs Trencsenyi, Associate Professor, History Department, CEU, Budapest

  • Renata Uitz: "The Helplessness of Constitutionalism in the Face of Populism: A Myth or A Challenge?"
  • Andras Bozoki: "Elitism Wrapped in Populism: New Authoritarian Tendencies in Democratic Politics"
  • Daniel Smilov: "Populism, the party system and rightwing extremism in Bulgaria "


1.     Juhana Aunesluoma, Adjunct Professor of Political History, Director of The Network for European Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

2.     Endre Bojtár, Journalist, editor in chief, Magyar Narancs, Budapest.

3.     András Bozóki, Professor, Department of Political Science, CEU,

4.     Julián Casanova, Professor, University of Zaragoza, Spain.

5.     Ainur Elmgren, Researcher, Nordic Openness Project, University of Helsinki, Finland.

6.     Zsolt Enyedi, Professor, Political Science Department, CEU, Budapest: 

7.     Rolf Gustavsson, journalist, Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden.

8.     István Grajczjár, Senior Research Fellow, Political Science Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

9.     Constantin Iordachi, Associate Professor, Department of History and Co-Director, Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, CEU, Budapest

10.  Gwen Jones, Honorary Research Associate, Department of  Hebrew & Jewish Studies, University College London, UK

11.  Don Kalb, Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, CEU, Budapest

12.  Alexandra Kemmerer, Project Leader, "Law in Context," Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, Germany

13.  László Kontler, Professor, History Department, Academic Pro-Rector for Hungarian and European Affairs, CEU, Budapest.

14.  Martin Krygier, Professor of Law Faculty of Law,  University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

15.  Heino Nyyssönen, Lecturer, University of Tampere, Finland

16.  Fernando Rosas, President, Instituto de História Contemporânea, Lisbon, Portugal

17.  José Reis Santos, PhD Candidate, Contemporary History Institute, New University of Lisbon, and Guest Research Fellow, Pasts, Inc. Center for Historical Studies, CEU Budapest

18.  Marsha Siefert, Associate Professor, History Department, CEU, Budapest

19.  Daniel Smilov, Comparative constitutional lawyer and political scientist, Programme Director at the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Bulgaria: "

20.  Henrik Stenius, Research director, Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS), University of Helsinki

21.  Bo Stråth, Professor, Finnish Academy Distinguished Chair in Nordic, European and World History, University of Helsinki.

22.  Balázs Trencsényi, Associate Professor, History Department, CEU, Budapest

23.   András Tóth,  Senior Research Fellow, Political Science Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

24.  Renata Uitz, Professor, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law program, Department of Legal Studies CEU, Budapest

25.  Miloš Vec, Senior Research Fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt, Germany.