Russia-Ukraine war, political scientist Mounk in Republic of Ideas: this is how the populists play Putin's game

The war in Ukraine and the relationship between populisms and dictatorships. Maurizio Molinari and the political scientist Yascha Mounk, one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of the rise of populisms and the crisis of liberal democracies, discussed it at the Republic of Ideas.

To the audience that crowded the hall of the Podestà of Palazzo Re Enzo, the director of Repubblica explained how “today we are experiencing two challenges: one internal, that of populism, and one external, that is, dictatorships that want to change the rules of the international system”. For Mounk “it is necessary to face both. We must find the strength of democracy in the 21st century and show that we have a vision for the future of liberal democracy. We must do so through an inclusive patriotism, which protects rights, but showing that we are ready to defend the international rules, to guarantee peace in the world. This is the great challenge of the next 50 years “.

RepIdee 2022, “Peace and war in the West” with Yascha Mounk and Maurizio Molinari – Integral


War in Ukraine

For this reason, the director of the Republic stressed, “defending Ukraine is defending our democratic systems”. According to Yascha Mounk, “this war is also our war. I know that in Italy, compared to other European countries, there is greater support for Russia. But we must always keep in mind one principle: no other country is attacked for annex part of its territory. It is a fundamental rule since the end of the Second World War, violating it threatens world peace. And it shows that Putin wants to restore the Russian empire. So let’s ask ourselves: do we really want a new Russian empire close to our borders ? And do we want to be addicted to this empire for energy? It’s not an abstract question. “

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The future of globalization

According to the German political scientist, globalization will undergo a change: “We can no longer give Putin or other regimes the power to decide whether we can warm up in our homes. Certain aspects of globalization will change, because we must be energetically independent. From this point of view. view we must be sovereign. “

The relations between dictatorships and populisms of our home

Molinari stressed that “there is an elephant in the room in the public debate, and it is inquiries and investigations that point the finger at contacts between populists and Russia. Think of Catalan independence, the Brexit vote or the funds received. from Marine Le Pen’s party. And here in Italy, the links between the League and united Russia, Putin’s party “. According to Mounk “there are few differences between populists on the right and on the left, for Putin they are the same thing, he helped them both. There is one fundamental thing we must understand: for those who hate the institutions of their own nation, an enemy of their own. Country is a friend “. What unites Western populist leaders and regimes like Putin’s, according to Maurizio Molinari, “is the theme of the strong leader. They are values ​​hostile to democratic principles”.

Citing the example of the Brothers of Italy and its leader Giorgia Meloni – and her rally in Spain, which went viral on social media – Molinari underlined how “today the right is vocally becoming increasingly aggressive, especially in the attack on rights” . But according to Mounk, “the Italian right is wrong if it spends itself to cancel acquired rights. I think Italy is a country of a tolerant nature, it would not accept such a harsh reaction. Just look at Trump and the American right: now to win it accepts certain reality, certain minorities and acquired rights. Trump for example strongly does not attack the LGBT community “.

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