Populism and nativism are often considered only in relation to the far right in Europe. But on the left, political parties have struggled to position themselves on immigration. Some parties, like Germany’s Die Linke, have taken nativist approaches. Others, like La France Insoumise, have attempted to reinvent themselves in order to appeal to a wider range of voters. Leftist parties have had difficulty establishing a position on immigration and its relation to the welfare state. This lack of a clear stance has led to a gradual decrease of leftist party support across the continent.
In this talk, Schwartz discussed her recent reporting on the French socialist and leftist parties to elaborate on how left-wing parties deal with changing social patterns. Over the past few months (the first half of 2022), Schwartz has been attending rallies and talking with voters, party members, non-voters and political scientists. This presentation looked in particular at how different political parties have responded to the hateful rhetoric of the far right, and how that response has been received by voters.
Madeleine Schwartz, Journalist, Freelance editor, The New York Review of Books, and Milena Jesenská Fellow at the IWM.
IWM Permanent Fellow Ludger Hagedorn opened the colloquium and gave a commentary.