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Author: Govert J. Buijs

Populism is a notoriously difficult term to define—almost synonymous, it seems, with democracy as far as content is concerned. This essay distinguishes between a political and a critical use of the term, and then presents some classical voices on forms of “populism” that constitute threats to democracy. Christianity made the problem of democracy much more urgent than it was in the classical period. Since the rise of Christianity in the West one has to be a democrat. This lack of other options obliges us to be extremely careful. We need to know when populism is a threat to democracy, when it is healthy, and when it is neither. An attempt is made by distinguishing between three types of political representation that correspond to three possible forms of underrepresentation. New sociopolitical movements can emerge as a response to underrepresentation. Only one specific form of a response to underrepresentation can be considered to be “populist” in a form that is more or less dangerous to democracy.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture
Volume Editors: Simon Polinder and Govert J. Buijs
International relations are in constant turbulence. Globalisation, the rise and fall of superpowers, the fragilisation of the EU, trade wars, real wars, terrorism, persecution, new nationalism and identity politics, climate change, are just a few of the recent disturbing developments. How can international issues be understood and addressed from a Christian faith perspective? In this book answers are presented from various Christian traditions: Neo-calvinism, Catholic social teaching, critical theory and Christian realism. The volume offers fundamental theological and Christian philosophical perspectives on international relations and global challenges, case studies about inspiring Christian leaders such as Robert Schuman, Dag Hammarskjöld, Abraham Kuyper and prophetic critiques of supranational issues.
In: Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations
In: Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations

8-9 January 2013 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a seminar took place bringing together people from various parts of the world, various disciplines, and various academic and non-academic professions — philosophers, economists, theologians, historians, social scientists as well as bankers, businessmen, investors and others — to analyze and discuss the economic crisis as it developed in the aftermath ofthe American financial crisis of 2008. An explicit goal was as well to bring together people from various generations, to facilitate and promote a true ‘intergenerational dialogue’. The title of the seminar was ‘Economics, Christianity & the Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique’. More specifically, the aim of the seminar was to develop Christianly inspired reflections on the crisis. An insight that was foundational for the seminar was that the 2008 credit crisis not only was a crisis in the (financial and real) economy (as they may occur every two decades or so), but implied also a crisis in the basic concepts and assumptions that underlie our contemporary thinking about economics, economics as a science as well as economics as a social domain. The crisis, as it erupted and evolved, simultaneously raised urgent questions at the macro- or system-level, at the intermediate level of behavior of banks and corporations, and at the level of personal morality, the vices and virtues involved in business transactions.

In: Philosophia Reformata
In: Philosophia Reformata