Populism in Poland: Implications of the Anti-LGBTQ Campaign

In 2015, the far-right populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) won a majority in the Parliament of Poland under the lead of President Andrzej Duda. The rhetoric of Duda, along with many parliamentary candidates, relied heavily on common populist tropes of anti-immigrant sentiment. The political campaign was largely successful due to racially-based fear of incoming Syrian immigrants. However, Poland’s lack of participation in several EU refugee programs has resulted in a political landscape in which immigration does not capture public fears as it once did in the 2015 elections. In its place, PiS politicians have begun a hateful scapegoat campaign against the Polish LGBTQ community to rally emotions and muster political support from its base.

A Simple Act of Good: Forgiving Ukraine’s Foreign Debt Obligations

Ever since the first missiles flew and the first tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders in late February of 2022, it would be easy to assume that everything not related to repelling the invasion froze in place. For most of the world, the overwhelming majority of media coverage about Europe’s largest country by land area became focused on the movements of troops, the flows of millions of refugees generated by the conflict, and the myriad reports of war crimes being committed primarily by Russian troops throughout the country. Given far less attention, however, are the ways in which the nuts and bolts of statecraft continue to function independent of the largest land war that Europe has seen in decades. 

Governing by Grocery: The Food Politics of Russia’s War in Ukraine

When picturing a protracted armed conflict between two sovereign nations in the 21st century, one may conjure to mind images of tanks rolling through villages, or perhaps fighter jets flying menacingly overhead. Clamoring crowds around empty shelves at a grocery store, however, is a far less likely picture.

Since Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, global markets for countless goods have faced major upsets and disruptions, carrying far-reaching effects on many different sectors. In particular, this has had extremely consequential effects on the production, prices, and availability of food worldwide.

The Future of Centrism in a Post-Merkel Germany

On the surface, it would appear that the landscape of German politics is moving further left with the first victory of the center-left party in nearly 20 years. The Green Party’s reentrance to the governing coalition for the second time in their history furthers this sentiment. Still, the nominal change in party leadership conceals a continuity of centrism in German politics. Scholz was primarily popular among Germans due to his similarities to Merkel, despite belonging to the opposition party. Scholz adopted many overt references to Merkel on the campaign trail, including mimicking Merkel’s signature rhombus hand gesture and referencing himself by the female version of Chancellor, Kanzlerin. While previously unpopular among his party, Scholz’ centrist tendencies have positioned him perfectly as Merkel’s true successor. Laschet’s public relations missteps only served to distance himself from the collected, authoritative image of Merkel. In many ways, Merkel’s opposition party saw popular success in styling themselves in her image.

Redemption for AstraZeneca, the Misunderstood Shot of the Global Vaccine Rollout

When the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine released its initial clinical results, it was hailed as a necessary and game-changing candidate. Compared to the vaccine race’s other “winners”, Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca was widely viewed as an accessible, affordable alternative that required less stringent storage conditions. [1] Like other leading vaccines, the AstraZeneca shot can drastically reduce severe or fatal cases of Covid-19. [2]

Today, the global vaccine rollout is well underway. It is also wildly unequal. While the United States and 42 other mostly high-income countries are on track to vaccinate their entire populations within the year, 67 low-income countries have not vaccinated anyone at all. [3]

Muslims in France: A Double Identity

This past October, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons provoked another deadly incident. After a French teacher showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammed to his class, he was beheaded by one of his students. Days later, three people were killed in front of a church in Nice. President Macron labeled the incident as an “Islamist terrorist attack.” [1] The recent killings have evoked widespread fear and memories of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the November 2015, in which two Muslim gunmen broke into Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters and killed twelve people, as well as the Paris terrorist attacks. Can France construct a secure society without alienating its Muslim citizens?

The Populist Challenge

“The time of the nation has come.” [1] These are the words of Marine Le Pen, former French presidential candidate, president of the National Rally party in France, and alleged “populist.” Populism is the international phenomenon that has been sweeping European countries for last decade, prompting a flood of analyses from leading political thinkers. As political scholarship grapples to reach a consensus on populism, populist leaders continue to fight for dominance in European governments. The recent surge of populist movements across Europe has not only transformed mainstream politics but has also posed a challenge to liberal democratic norms, mainly through fostering antipluralism and a rejection of important aspects of democracy.

Why Denmark Should Join the Eurozone

Although Denmark joined the European Communities in 1973 and has been an integral member of the European Union since its founding in 1993, the country still uses krone as its currency, rather than the euro. As a country with good economic performance, it has much to gain from joining the eurozone and becoming a more integrated member of the EU, and it is likely to be successful in doing so. The European Union and eurozone are currently experiencing a crisis of integration and would benefit politically from the successful integration of Denmark into the eurozone, in addition to benefiting economically. Integration into the eurozone would benefit both Denmark and the European Union.

Germany’s Difficulties with Refugee Integration

The millions of refugees entering Europe during recent years have found the warmest reception in Germany, where 1 in 8 residents is of foreign national origin. Germany has made significant strides towards effectively and permanently relocating and integrating refugees into the country. However, there are still policy opportunities to ensure that refugees are able to integrate further and feel assured of guaranteed futures in the country, with the possibility of being joined by their families. Many refugees are having trouble making the educational and legal leaps necessary to become German citizens. Conditions for integration, including long waiting periods for citizenship, are unnecessarily turbulent and stressful; less than 50 percent of migrants pass their language and integration classes. With the German spending budget for refugees predicted to reach 78 billion euros through 2022, it is crucial to ensure that methods of migrant integration are practical, successful, and cost effective.