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[Extract] This chapter argues that populism and the crisis of democracy cannot be understood without an examination of the demographic transformation of modern societies. It demonstrates that declining total fertility rates and the aging of the population are the background conditions for the populist emphasis on the threat of immigration, the connection between the family and the survival of the nation and the defence of the dignity of women. Austrian right-wing populism has been in electoral terms highly successful, populist support for the traditional family and the domestic role of women is not confined to Catholic Europe. The chapter presents complex picture of the interactions between demographic change, immigration, gender and religion in modern populism, but perhaps the picture is in fact more complicated. The emphasis on the proper place of women in the home prompts one to ask whether this defence of the dignity of women points to a crisis of masculinity as one hidden basis of populism.


Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society

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Book Chapter

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