Populist parties are sweeping the continent — and Facebook. It’s time we took them seriously

In Europe, populist parties are defined by their opposition to immigration and concern for protecting national and European culture, especially against a perceived threat of Islam.

Over the last decade their growth has been remarkable. Once on the political fringes, these parties now command significant support in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and even (or especially) the socialist bastions of Scandinavia.

In some countries, they are the second- or third-largest party and are seen as necessary members of many conservative coalition governments.

…. Our results suggest there is a new generation of populists that are not the racist, xenophobic reactionaries they are sometimes portrayed as. They are young, angry, and disillusioned with the current crop of automaton political elites, who they do not think are responding to the concerns and worries they face in their lives. [FOREIGN POLICY] Read more