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About Cas Mudde

Cas Mudde is the Stanley Wade Shelton UGAF Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) at the University of Georgia (USA) and a Professor II at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo (Norway). Born in the Netherlands, where he got his M.A. and Ph.D. at Leiden University, his research addresses the question: how can liberal democracies defend themselves against political challenges without undermining their core values? His recent publications include The Far Right in America (Routledge, 2018), The Populist Radical Right: A Reader (Routledge, 2017), SYRIZA: The Failure of the Populist Promise (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), (with Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser) Populism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), and On Extremism and Democracy in Europe (Routledge, 2016). He is currently finishing The Far Right Today (Polity, 2019), is a columnist for the GuardianUS and Hope not Hate, and tweets at @casmudde.


Articles by Cas Mudde

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

On extremism and democracy in Europe: three years later

This introduction to the updated Greek edition of the 2016 book brings to its thought-provoking chronological account three more eventful years for the far right, populism, Euroscepticism and liberal democracy.

The Polish boomerang: how Warsaw’s adoption of the 'Budapest Model' could threaten the original in Hungary

The new Polish government seems keen on following the authoritarian 'Budapest model' promulgated by illiberal democrat Viktor Orbán, but this could backfire on the Hungarian leader.

2015 and the struggle for Europe’s core

2015 was the year that everyone could see that the European emperor is not (not any longer) wearing clothes. Worse, the emperor didn’t even deny that he was naked! 

European democracy after Paris

Ironically, as political distrust and dissatisfaction are at all-time highs in Europe, the vast majority of people are still willing to give unprecedented powers to the leaders they don’t like or trust. 

Overcoming the European refugee crisis

With no sign of the refugee crisis slowing down, here are five key principles for action which are both more humane towards migrants, and more broadly supported by the European publics.

As Europe looks fearfully outside, its liberal democracy is under attack from within

Liberal democracy in Europe is under threat once more. This time, however, the threat comes from within the European elite. What can be done to remedy this situation?

The key lesson from Syriza’s defeat? A different Europe requires both ideology and competence

To achieve anything in politics, including changing the rules, you have to master ‘the art of the possible,’ as conservative German statesman Otto von Bismarck famously said, rather than merely trumpet ‘the truth.’ 

It’s time to end the Eurosceptic illusions

The EU is inherently a transnational neoliberal project. It is unrealistic to expect, and disingenuous to suggest, that it can be transformed into anything else.

Why the new far-right political group in the European Parliament is a political failure

Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders announced the formation of the new Europe of Nations and Freedoms group in the European Parliament today. A financial success? Sure. A political success? Unlikely.

Populism in Europe: a primer

EU President Herman van Rompuy has called populism "the greatest danger for Europe". But what exactly is populism? And why are EU leaders feeling so threatened by it?

A Disunited Kingdom

While the Conservative victory is remarkable, it is a mere incident in the fundamental transformation of British politics that is being played out in at least four important chapters. British politics is dead.

Populism and liberal democracy: is Greece the exception or the future of Europe?

Cas Mudde - one of the most distinguished scholars in the fields of the extreme right and populism - discusses far right and new left parties, with a special focus on Europe and Greece.

What freedom of speech? Of foxes, chickens, and #JeSuisCharlie

Most Europeans, at both elite and mass level, have a grossly inflated idea of the extent of freedom of speech in Europe, a direct consequence of the uncritical and self-congratulatory discourse on the topic.

After Syriza’s landslide: five predictions of a much similar future

In the end though, this will all probably lead mainly to more fragmentation, which will make fundamental change even more unlikely.

No, we are NOT all Charlie (and that’s a problem)

It is comforting and politically expedient to claim that “we” are attacked because “they” cannot deal with “our” freedoms, particularly freedom of speech.

Russia's Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse _1.jpgIs the European far right really acting as Russia's Trojan Horse in the European Union?


The EAF is dead! Long live the MENL!

The Front National has long been at the centre of pan-European party initiatives, which were always dominated by former FN leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The EAF was founded without FN-involvement, however.

Liberal democracy: the do’s and don’ts of banning political extremism

The most prominent case is the extreme right political party Golden Dawn in Greece. While all cases are different, they all address exactly the same fundamental question: what are the limits of political activism within a liberal democracy? 

Electoral winners and political losers in the right-wing Eurosceptic camp

Could the political success of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) in the aftermath of the 2014 European elections undermine Tory success in the 2015 British elections?

Is Gerry Adams an Irish Nelson Mandela?

Acknowledgments of culpability from leaders on both sides of the South African conflict to the vaunted Truth and Reconciliation Commission, were fundamental to helping the country move beyond its deeply divided past into a more peaceful future.

The divided house of anti-Europe

Right-wing Eurosceptic parties will have more MEPs than ever before in the next European Parliament. But this doesn't mean they will be able to form a united Eurosceptic front.

A new (order) Ukraine? Assessing the relevance of Ukraine’s far right in an EU perspective

Now that the EU is ready to embrace the new Ukrainian government, investing at least one billion euros in the ‘revolutionized’ country, it is time to reinvestigate the question of far right influence in Ukraine.

Nothing left? In search of (a new) social democracy

(Real) social democracy is not just unknown to several generations of voters, but it is contradictory to their individualist or ethnicized worldview. So far the analyses and prospects do not look promising. 

Is the revolution eating its children? The US Tea Party, between Astroturf and grassroots

The 2014 GOP primaries will show whether the Tea Party was indeed just an Astroturf invention, as many liberals have claimed, or a true grassroots movement, as most conservatives proclaim.

The myth of Weimar Europe

Since the start of the Great Recession, it has become received wisdom that the far right is on the rise across Europe. But not often is the 'economic-crisis-breeds-extremism' thesis confronted with actual facts.

The European elite's politics of fear

Fear mongering about 'anti-European populism' discredits the EU elite’s position on European democracy – it should stop.

America's election and the Tea Party

A series of voting setbacks in November 2012 means the conservative Tea Party movement is now facing a difficult and divisive period, says Cas Mudde.

Flemish nationalism: a new landscape

The results of Belgium's local elections has brought victory in the northern Flanders region to the conservative and nationalist but democratic New Flemish Alliance. This represents the transformation of Flemish nationalism, says Cas Mudde.

The Dutch elections and the Eurosceptic paradox

Despite alarming predictions, last week's Dutch election results turned out to be anticlimactic, as voters placed their confidence in the two mainstream, moderate parties. But Brussels shouldn't celebrate too soon, as the "European weather vane" shows signs of bigger challenges to come.

Dutch elections, European consequences

The combination of economic troubles and Eurosceptic pressures will increase the international impact of the Netherlands' latest election, says Cas Mudde.

America’s new revolutionaries

The belief that the United States stands at a historic crossroads is widespread across the political spectrum. But among parts of the right the view takes worrying directions, says Cas Mudde.

Norway’s democratic example

The process and result in the trial of Anders Breivik are a vindication of Norway’s liberal democracy and a lesson for the world, says Cas Mudde.

Wisconsin's Sikh massacre: the real danger

The perpetrator of the latest mass shooting in the United States has been compared to Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik. But a closer understanding of his motives and actions is needed before making this connection, says Cas Mudde.

Norway's atrocity: a story of non-impact

The immediate reactions to the terrorist attack in Oslo in July 2011 were both politicised and inaccurate. The opening of the perpetrator's trial nine months later finds leading ideological positions still full of evasion, says Cas Mudde.

Europe: from crisis to opportunity

The origin of the eurozone crisis lies in the overreach of the Maastricht treaty of 1992. A new process is needed to set the European Union on a new course - but this must have explicit popular consent at its heart, says Cas Mudde.
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