Jean Monnet professors Paulina Astroza and Susana Sanz, present the book “Impact, risks and opportunities of populism in Europe and Latin America” in Valencia

Paulina Astroza Suárez and Susana Sanz Caballero, Jean Monnet chairholders and professors of International Public Law at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University and the University of Concepción in Chile, participate in the book launch “Impact, risks and opportunities of populism in Europe and Latin America”, together with Mr. Leopoldo López Mañez, Consul of the Republic of Chile in Valencia.

The Jean Monnet project of the European Commission entitled “Impact, risks and opportunities of populism in Europe and Latin America”, led by the “Center for European Studies” Program directed by Dr. Astroza at the University of Concepción (Chile), has brought together 21 researchers and academics from Europe and Latin America in a work that addresses the characteristics, impact and conceptual limits of populism in both continents in both continents from a multidisciplinary perspective, since the project involves professionals dedicated to political science, law and history, all of them from different countries such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Dr. Astroza, leading researcher of the project that has resulted in the publication of this work and Dr. Sanz, who also participates in the project and is also the author of one of the chapters that make up the study, have taken the opportunity to present this work published by Tirant Lo Blanch in the Colomina Palace of the UCH-CEU, an event that was also attended by Mr. Leopoldo López Mañez, Consul of the Republic of Chile and Dean of the Consular Corps in Valencia.

The Consul of the Republic of Chile in Valencia, Mr. Leopoldo López Mañez, was responsible for inaugurating the event with a motivational speech in which he encouraged young people to be brave and study the challenges posed by populisms in order to try to give answers from a current perspective. In this sense, Mr. López Máñez believes that young people have a fundamental role and weapon to face this type of challenges, due to the important role they play in society as drivers of future change.

Prof. Susana Sanz continued by highlighting the research work contained in the book as well as the important role of Dr. Astroza in its development, a researcher who, in the words of Dr. Sanz “manages to unite two worlds: Europe and Latin America”. Also during her opening speech, the UCH-CEU professor stressed the importance of studying populism as a concept closely linked to the rule of law, as well as the need to continue creating new debates and discussions on this subject that can contribute to feed reflections on future challenges. Dr. Sanz considers that the book covers a subject that is not only extremely topical, but also relevant in the European and international panorama: the erosion of the Rule of Law and the impact that the populist drifts of different states around the world have had on this phenomenon.

On the other hand, Dr. Astroza explained the structure of the work as well as the contents that can be found in it. The purpose of the book is to try to give an answer to the question “What can we say about populism”. The phenomenon of populism occurs everywhere, hence the experiences shared by the team that makes up the work enrich the study” – affirms Paulina Astroza.

As for the contents of the book, Prof. Astroza explains that the work begins with an explanation of the concept of populism, understood as a concept of “the people” and that it contributes to “giving voice to the people”. The study then takes on a more thematic tone, analyzing the populist phenomenon in relation to processes, institutions and political practices of contemporary liberal democratic governance: rule of law, foreign relations, defense, local governments, the judiciary, etc. It is in this part of the book that Dr. Sanz analyzes in her contribution the populist threat to the liberal-democratic values of the European Union, while reflecting on the fact that there is, in her opinion, no such thing as good populism, insofar as populism weakens the rule of law through the erosion of the check and balances established to limit the will of the majorities. Dr. Sanz concludes: “From populism to autocratic arbitrariness there is only one step”.

The final part of the book -continues Dr. Astroza-, consists of a specific study of the current situation in Argentina, Germany, the United States (where populism in judicial activism is specifically analyzed), as well as the serious European cases of Poland and Hungary, countries that have been pointed out as serious breaching countries of the rule of law in the EU. This is why the book also alludes to the effectiveness of the sanctioning mechanism of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) to respond to the systematic attacks of both countries to the democratic values of the EU.

Prof. Astroza ends her speech by thanking the support received from the authorities, her team of assistants and secretariat, as well as the international network of colleagues, without forgetting the support her family has given her and which has made this project, in the words of Dr. Astroza, “the best achieved project”. She concludes by stating that the book will be “a voice on Europe in Spanish and a vision to raise a multidisciplinary project to open new questions”.


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