European Populism and Human Rights


This volume focuses on the recent challenge posed by right-wing populism to democratic consolidation in Europe and particularly explores the legal dimensions of this challenge. Part One attempts to define political populism and explains why it poses a challenge to democratic political order in Europe. Part Two examines the theoretical underpinnings of the populist challenge to human rights and democracy in Europe. Part Three applies this theory to concrete examples and considers case studies including an old EU Member State, two newer EU Member States and a non-EU Member State party to the ECHR. The aim is to examin the consequences of the present populist challenge in Europe that has been marked with excessively nationalist policies in some states party to the ECHR. It is explored how the Convention rights have been undermined, but also what the limitations are of the ECHR acting as a safety-net for democratic consolidation in Europe.

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Prof. Jure Vidmar is Chair of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University. He is also a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and serves as Judge ad hoc of the European Court of Human Rights.
Notes on Contributors

1 Democracy and the European Public Order
Jure Vidmar

Defining Populism as a Human Rights Problem

2 Populism and Universal Human Rights Law
Theo van Boven

3 Diversity in Europe:from Pluralism to Populism in Europe
Yvonne Donders

4 The Public Participant versus the Populist Government of an Illiberal Democracy
Otto Spijkers

5 Enough about Populism
Luigi Lonardo

How Populism Affects Human Rights Standards: Theory

6 The Democratic Potential of Transnational Populism
Laura M. Henderson

7 Fraternité (dé-) naissante: Populist Potentialities of Human Rights
Yota Negishi

8 Freedom or Transformation? Conflicting Tendencies in United Nations Human Rights Discourse
Gustavo Arosemena

How Populism Affects Human Rights Standards: Application

9 Political Rhetoric, Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech against Religious Believers
Erica Howard

10 The European Court of Human Rights and the Rise of Authoritarianism in Russia
Amrei Müller

11 The Effect of Populism on the Rule of Law, Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence in Hungary and Poland
Stoyan Panov

12 “In the Eyes of the Perpetrator”: Judicial Recognition of the Identity- Based Nature of Genocide
Carola Lingaas

13 Final Remarks on Populism’s Effect on Human Rights and Democracy in Europe
Jure Vidmar

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