Author Archive

Wolfgang Merkel

Wolfgang Merkel is Director of the Research Unit Democracy: Structures, Performance, Challenges at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) and Professor of Political Science at the Humboldt University Berlin. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and advisor to many European governments. He is also an associate of the Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney. Prof. Merkel is a non-party member of the Basic Values Commission of the Executive Committee of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and a member of the social sciences review board of the German Research Foundation (DFG)

These comments on the topical subject of populism have been gathered by the University of Sydney’s Sydney Democracy Network and its Democracy Futures team. SDN is a global network of researchers, journalists, activists, policy makers and citizens concerned with the future of democracy. The comments form part of a longer series on populism on The Conversation. Populism is everywhere on the rise. Why is this happening? Why are the peddlers of populism proving so popular? Are there deep forces driving the spread of their style of politics, and what, if anything, has populism to do with democracy? Is populism democracy’s essence, as some maintain? Is the new populism therefore to be welcomed, harnessed and “mainstreamed” in support of more democracy? …