Populism: Demise or renewal of representative democracy?

The appeal of traditional institutions for political representation, such as political parties and legislatures, seems to be in decline in both established and developing democracies alike. Increasingly, new forms of political action and agendas emerge, including different forms of populism.

To explore this new reality, NIMD teamed up with International IDEA, OSCE/ODIHR, REPRESENT and WFD to organize a conference on “Representation in the age of populism”.

The conference, which took place on 18-20 June, will address whether populism – in all its different forms and shapes – signifies a potential demise of representative democracy, or if whether triggers a renewal.

Experts from across the globe gathered in the Belgian Senate in Brussels. Over the course of 10 sessions, they addressed global action on social movements, party innovation, social media and legislation, among other topics.

Speakers at the conference included:

  • Michelle Bachelet – Former President of Chile
  • Enrico Letta – Former Premier of Italy
  • Cas Mudde – Expert on populism
  • Delia Ferreira – Chair of Transparency International