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[Podcast] Don Kalb: Populism as a twofold political confusion

LeftEast shares this podcast with the permission of its producers from Contrasens. “Contrasens” is a podcast which explores current themes in the field of the social sciences. The project aims to bring to the forefront and make as accessible as possible research conducted by sociologists, anthropologists and other specialists from related fields. Content hosts and producers are students from the Faculty of Sociologu and Social Assistance, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj: Marina Mironica, Matei Mlinarcic, Karol Pataki, Pati Murg, Vlad Bejinariu și Maria Martelli.

Populism looks like it’s going to become the new specter that haunts us. Questionable decisions taken by political leaders are being categorized as being populist, regardless of the side they come from. Whether we are talking about changing laws, simple promises or press statements, the public opinion, as showcased by the media, brings with it the ‘populist’ tag which, by the looks of it, ought to be exhaustive. Still, it is worthwhile to discern the difference between left-wing and right-wing populism, and more importantly to know where the good kind of populism ends and the bad and unwanted one begins. In our discussion with anthropologist Don Kalb we want to shed some light on the populism that haunts Eastern Europe and which seems to extend beyond its pleasant varieties.


Don Kalb, 2018, Upscaling Illiberalism: Class, Contradiction, and the Rise and Rise of the Populist Right in Postsocialist Central Europe in Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Blog and platform Don Kalb initiated:

Producers: Marina Mironica and Pati Murg
Sponsor and support by: Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Babeș-Bolyai University
Studio: Radio Cluj and Doina Borgovan
Mix & master, soundtrack: KindStudios
Visuals: Pati Murg