New Research Division Publication -
Quo Vadis Europe: NATO and the Rise of Populism

  • 12 Feb. 2018
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  • Last updated: 12 Feb. 2018 10:54

NDC Commentary 02-2018

Dear Reader,

Recent elections in several European countries witnessed the rise of populist movements, most of which share Eurosceptic, isolationist, and often pro-Russian stances. What effects should we expect from these electoral results and, more broadly, from the rise of populist movements in European states—especially those who belong to NATO? Will Europe be affected? If so, will this have any influence on NATO or Alliance stability?

This latest NDC Commentary tries to answer these sensitive issues, particularly in view of the 2019 European elections which, for the first time, may be dominated by nationalist parties with populist underpinnings. Indeed, their close relationship with Russia, their openly anti-NATO and anti-EU positions, and their disruptive policies might substantially weaken European democracies and deconstruct the liberal values on which the Alliance was built.

The author, who served as an Intern in the NDC Research Division, recommends that in order to counterbalance this risk the Alliance should implement a stronger narrative based on its shared liberal democratic values. This is particularly important in view of NATO’s raison d’être of supporting liberal democracies. We hope you enjoy her work.


Jeffrey A. Larsen, PhD, Director Research Division

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