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Anti-PluralismThe Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy$
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William A. Galston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300228922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300228922.001.0001

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The European Project and Its Enemies

The European Project and Its Enemies

(p.41) Four The European Project and Its Enemies

William A. Galston

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the growing divide between the political orientation of European elites and common populist refrains. The European Union had begun as a way to build closer economic ties in the hopes that it would make war between European powers less likely. For many fans of the European project, the creation of a single currency marked one of the greatest steps toward “ever-closer union.” However, the Eurozone financial crisis, which began in 2009, was the ultimate test of public faith. As member states struggled with sovereign debt, negotiated bailout packages, and implemented austerity measures, voters throughout Europe blamed the regulatory framework designed by bureaucratic elites for weakened social protections and slow economic recovery. In the wake of the crisis, formerly marginal populist parties began to enjoy unprecedented electoral success, and new parties entered the scene with fervent support.

Keywords:   Europe, European Union, European project, Eurozone financial crisis, populism, populist parties

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