Populism by Dr. Heinisch

Dr. Reinhard Heinisch of the University of Salzburg spoke to us about the current stance of populist parties across Europe and defined the party to us. I had no prior knowledge of the populist party, and I found his talk very informative and engaging. He explained many aspects of the party such as how each fraction of the party varies through nationalism, ethno-centrism, heterophobia, religio-centrism, antisemitism, nativism, and racism. For example, in Germany, the Populist party is currently advertising by the promotion of the idea of a “nuclear family.” This consists of a wife who stays at home, a husband who works, a boy, and a girl. This flyer was promoted by the new, right wing Populist party in Germany called AFD. Then, Professor Heinisch, overviewed the major leaders of the populist party, and the differences between the populist parties in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southern Europe. They all are somewhat similar, for once one branch of the party sees something that works, the others will most likely follow suit. Overall, the populist party is most commonly known for trying to relate to “the common man” by drawing attention through provocative or outrageous content. For example, one populist people convinced people they were being fed “chlorine chicken”. This is all particularly interesting to me, for I am studying abroad this summer in Arezzo, Italy, and after this I will be traveling through Hungary, Austria, and Germany, where there will be many traces of the Populist Party. I now know what symbols or techniques to recognize as the Populist Party and I will be more knowledgeable about the countries I am visiting. Also, under the Trump Administration, it is interesting to see the corollary between Trump and the Populist party, especially after the current question of his ties to Russia during the presidential campaign. I am very grateful for OU for ensuring that students are provided educational opportunities such as these for topics outside of our graduation requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *