Alina Polyakova a fellow at the Brookings Institution and an adjunct professor of European studies at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in European politics, far-right populism and nationalism, and Russian foreign policy. Polyakova's recent book, "The Dark Side of European Integration," examines the rise of far-right political parties in Western and Eastern Europe.
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Alina Polyakova, Yascha Mounk & Moises Naim discuss threats to democracy.
Alina Polyakova argues, “If you look at the trends, the economic trends and vis-à-vis electoral support for far-right political parties since the 1990s, there is no clear causal relationship between an economic decline, increase in unemployment and how likely these parties are to do well at the polls.”
“The center right across the world should not give in to the far right, and the center left must stand firm on progressive principles that channel voters’ anxieties rather than feed them.”
Alina Polyakova argues that Europe “should call out far-right populists’ political opportunism and use this moment of collective soul-searching about the future of the European Union to create policies that address the people’s concerns.”
“The turn to the right in Europe was fueled by two interrelated factors. First was the 2008 economic crisis. … The economic crisis pushed popular opinion toward a growing Euroskepticism—the second factor boosting the popularity of the far right’s anti-EU platforms. Across Europe, citizens began to doubt that European integration—supported and ushered in by centrist parties on the left and the right—was the answer to their discontent.”