Right-wing populism in Europe – Causes, dimensions, ways out

Annual conference in Hofgeismar from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, 2019


At this weekend conference, which will take place at the Evangelische Akademie Hofgeismar near Kassel, the two organizers want to discuss right-wing populist parties and positions in the context of the 2019 European elections. Right-wing populist positions and authoritarian political styles are in vogue, and not just in Europe. Their rise on the “old continent” is closely linked to the political, economic and social crisis processes of the European integration process, but cannot be reduced to these. Against this background, the following key questions will be discussed and encourage critical reflection on the success of right-wing populist movements and parties:

  • What is right-wing populism?
  • What explains the rise of right-wing populism in Europe? 
  • How can a democratic reinvention of Europe counteract the shift to the right?


Friday, April 26, 2019
18.00 hrs Start with dinner
                 Part I / Right-wing populism in Europe and the threat it poses 
                 European democracy: political science perspectives

19.00 Welcome and introduction
                 – Dr. Konstantin Broese
                 – Dipl.-Pol. Kai Mosebach
19.30 –
21.00 Right-wing populism in Europe –
                 a danger to democracy?
                 Prof. Dr. Frank Decker
                 Professor at the Institute for Political Science and
                 Sociology at the Rheinisch-Westfälische University of Bonn,
                 Scientific Director of the Bonn Academy for Research
                 and teaching practical politics. Member of the Basic Values Commission
                 of the SPD and author of the book “Rechtspopulismus (Brennpunkt Politik)” (2019)

Saturday, April 27, 2019
7.45 a.m.   Breakfast
8.30 –
8.45 a.m.   Exercise after breakfast:
                 Start the day with a little yoga
                 Part II / Socio-psychological and political-economic
                 Explanatory approaches

9.00 a.m.   Escape into authoritarianism? Social-psychoanalytical explanations
                 Current political developments according to Erich Fromm
                 Dr. Rainer Funk
                 Co-founder and long-standing chairman of the International 
                 Erich Fromm Society. Psychoanalyst, Fromm biographer and
                 Author of the book “Der entgrenzte Mensch: Warum ein Leben ohne 
                 Borders do not make us free, but dependent” (2011)
10.30 a.m. Coffee/tea
11.00 a.m. Working group phase I
                 (Working groups A, B, C and D)
12.30 p.m. Lunch
14.30 hrs Coffee/tea and cake
15.00 Post-democratic liberalism vs. retrodemocracy.
                 On the rise of right-wing populism
                 Dr. Veith Selk
                 Research assistant at the Department of Political Science
                 Theories and history of ideas of the Institute of Political Science 
                 at the Technical University of Darmstadt and co-author of the book
                 “Theories of Populism for Introduction”, with Dirk Jörke (2017)
16.30 Working group phase II
                 (continuation of working groups A, B, C and D)
18.00 Dinner
19.30 – 
21.00 General Meeting of the International Erich-Fromm-Society e. V.
                 or alternatively:
                 Erich Fromm by way of introduction:
                 “Living through history” & “Courage for people” –
                 a two-part film portrait by Rainer Otte (approx. 90 minutes)

Sunday, April 28, 2019
7.45 a.m.   Breakfast
8.30 –
8.45 a.m.   Exercise after breakfast:
                 Start the day with a little yoga
                 Part III / Socio-political strategies to strengthen European democracy(ies)
9.00 a.m.   Interim conclusion
9.30 a.m.   Think European – act local? 
                 Starting points for socio-political 
                 Strategies against right-wing populism in Europe
                 Dr. Mario Candeias
                 Director of the Institute for Social Analysis of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
                 and co-editor of the anthology “Europe: What’s left?
                 The European Union between disintegration, authoritarianism and democratic
                 Renewal”, with Alex Demirovic (2017)
11.00 a.m. Coffee/tea
11.30 a.m. Strengthening European democracy(ies) as an antidote to
                 ‘authoritarian temptations’: political, economic and social
                 and socio-psychological aspects
                 Closing panel with the speakers of the conference
12.30 p.m. End of the conference with lunch


Prices and registration

The conference costs are per person for

  • Conference fee/full board/single room: 148 EUR
  • Conference fee/full board/double room: EUR 136
  • Conference fee/meals without breakfast/without overnight stay: 78 EUR
  • Conference fee/without meals/without accommodation: 27 EUR

Go directly to the registration via the Academy’s website

Pupils/students/trainees up to the age of 35 receive a 50% discount through the conference center. Members of the Int. Erich Fromm Society who do not belong to this group can receive a grant of up to EUR 50 by submitting an informal application to the Fromm Society office. (Please apply in good time before registering.)

If you have any questions about the possibility of arriving in advance or extending your stay, please contact the conference center directly when you register. Please register as soon as possible, but no later than April 19, 2019, in writing directly to the Evangelische Akademie Hofgeismar (by post, fax or e-mail):

Protestant Academy

Gesundbrunnen 11

34369 Hofgeismar

Fax: 05671/881-154

E-mail: ev.akademie.hofgeismar@ekkw.de

Telephone information: 05671/881-122

Website: https://www.akademie-hofgeismar.de/index.php


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