Publications » THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?
THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?

Category: Sallux publications
ISBN: 978-94-92697-22-6
Subtitle: A Christian perspective on populism

This publication presents a distinct view on Christianity and populism. The author has taken a unique path in this regard in which he assesses the rise of populism from the perspective of society and tries to understand why people vote for this political option in such huge numbers. In every election in Europe since the beginning of this century it appears that right-wing populism can count on a significant slice of the vote. In many EU Member States this is between 10 and 30% of the vote. And even if these parties do not score significant electoral results, large parts of their agendas are adopted by centrist par ties from both the centre-right and centre-left. Dr. van de Breevaart correctly challenges a number of left-liberal talking points re garding populist parties as too simplistic and inconsistent as well as lacking con sideration for the real concerns that also fuel the vote for these parties. The lack of integration of non-western populations, the unbalanced increases of costs of living for families and the rejection of traditional family values by mainstream media all contribute to more people voting for right-wing populists. The feeling of being rejected by politics, economy and culture drives many people in that direction. Dr. van de Breevaart emphasizes these issues and tries to make the reader sensitive to the feelings of that (signifi cant) part of the electorate. It shows that ‘being right’ is less relevant than ‘getting it right’. If we continue to ‘be right’ and refuse to listen carefully and take into account why people vote for populist parties they may end up in power in several key EU Member States. This would have serious consequences for the EU. Denial is no solution and at that stage ‘being in denial’ becomes ‘being too late’. In that sense Dr. van de Breevaart encourages us to take the concerns of these voters more seriously. This is necessary for both the EU and the EU Member States. As this book is primarily an invitation for further reflection and discussion, Sallux has added a set of questions around the issues raised by the author. This is added to the publication in an addendum that can be used in study groups or for further personal consideration. Regardless of your own opinion on the issue we hope that you will allow yourself to be challenged by Dr. van de Breevaart and take this as an opportunity for a wider and deeper understanding of this complex issue.