Prof Korkut Discusses Populism Setback in the Press

Scholar appeared in a Foreign Policy article

November 05, 2019 12:00 AM
Prof. Umut Korkut (Glasgow Caledonian University) leads the DEMOS UK team


DEMOS Glasgow-based researcher and Professor Umut Korkut (Glasgow Caledonian University) was featured in a Foreign Policy article on populism published on Monday (04/11). The article analyzes the implications of Gergely Karacsony’s election as the new mayor of Budapest. In October, Karacsony defeated Istvan Tarlos, the candidate of Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party. The results yielded Orban’s first major political defeat in a decade—and could represent a way out of populism in Central and Eastern European Countries.

According to the article, Poland, Slovakia, and Czechia’s capitals are ruled by a diverse outlook of political leaders, but they all share Karacsony’s anti-illiberal stance against their countries’ ruling parties. 

Prof. Korkut explained that those opposing populist governments are coming to realize that changes can start at the local level. The quote came from an OpEd that Prof. Korkut had written for the British newspaper The Independent, in which he argued that Karacsony’s victory is an example of how local politics can be made national.

The Joker
On Saturday (2/11), Professor Korkut gave an interview to Wired, for an article exploring how the film Joker  inspired masses in Chile, Beirut, and Hong Kong to represent their anti-establishment views on the streets. The Joker's clown mask, says the article, became the "perfect protest symbol". According to Professor Korkut, the presence of mocking elements in political protests has further implications. "If you humourise this thing, you show that there's an absurdity to it," he was quoted saying. "If you can depict the authorities' political ideology as absurd, you're taking away their claim to legitimacy." 

You can read all articles through the links below:

Foreign Policy

Europe's Populist Governments Have a Problem: Their Capital

The Independent

The new mayor of Budapest has shown us how to defeat authoritarian populists like Viktor Orban


Why Joker masks are the perfect political protest symbol

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