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A more populist EU parliament bodes ill for researchers

Image: European Parliament

Influx of far-right MEPs promises tighter purse strings and post-truth grandstanding, says John Whitfield

In his 2022 book The Revenge of Power, the Venezuelan writer Moisés Naím argues that modern autocrats, and would-be autocrats, base their efforts around three Ps: populism, polarisation and post-truth.

In Europe, the first P is having a good decade. Right-wing populist parties are in power in Hungary, Slovakia and Italy, and won last year’s Dutch election. It’s not one-way traffic: populist governments have lost power in Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. But next month’s EU elections look likely to see a sharp increase in the far right’s representation in the European Parliament. 

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