Cluster 4: Populism, Religion and Identity

An increase in populism has led to more polarized societies in Europe. Empirical studies indicate an increase in political alienation in the Western world and certain tendencies towards more radical parties. In this vein, contemporary populism – whether on the right or left side of the political spectrum – succeeds by creating a strong separation between the “ruling elites” driving the society in certain directions against the will of the “common people.”
This MML cluster focuses on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Key features of populism in contrast to related phenomena such as nationalism, economic conservatism, preferences for redistribution or anti-immigrant discourses.
  • Anti-Muslim attitude and its meaning for populist’s rise.
  • Religion and identity as pull factors for the creation of a feeling of belonging and a strong demarcation against others.
  • Interplay of identity, religion and economic.