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  Öffentlicher Vortrag | Public Lecture

Mittwoch, 8. Juli 2020

Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties

Catherine De Vries, Bocconi University, Milan



Challenger parties are on the rise in Europe, exemplified by the likes of Podemos in Spain, National Rally in France, Alternative for Germany in Germany, or Forum for Democracy in the Netherlands. Like disruptive entrepreneurs, these parties offer new policies and defy the dominance of established party brands. In the face of these challenges and a more volatile electorate, mainstream parties are losing their grip on power. This lecture explores why some challenger parties are so successful and what mainstream parties can do to face off these political entrepreneurs. Drawing analogies with how firms compete, Catherine De Vries will demonstrate that political change is as much about the ability of challenger parties to innovate as it is about the inability of dominant parties to respond. The lecture is based on her new book, Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe, co-authored with Sara B. Hobolt, which will be published in 2020 by Princeton University Press.

Catherine De Vries is Professor of Political Science at Bocconi University, Milan. She is also an affiliated professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and an associate member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Her work can be broadly situated in the areas of political behavior, political economy, and EU politics. De Vries’ first book, Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration (OUP 2018), received the EUSA Best Book in EU Studies Award in 2019 and was listed in the top 5 books on Europe’s future by the Financial Times.


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