We are glad to announce the second independent publication of the Libertarian Club – Libek, "The Abuse of the People – the Nature of Populism in Serbia“. The publication deals with the nature and the roots of populism in Serbia and has been prepared in cooperation with top level experts from various fields.
In the recent years, the world has seen a rise of populist and authoritarian movements around the world. From the countries that never quite got rid of authoritarian regimes, to developed Western liberal democracies, it seems that various authoritarian movements from left and right have become appealing to an increasing numbers of voters. The situation is similar in Serbia, whose governments and regimes have for a long time been characterized by a populist approach, that has frequently ended in authoritarian policies and government oppression.
Besides their obvious tendencies towards centralization of power, usurpation of institutions, neglect for facts and tendency towards violence, the populist movements of the past have left a trail of economic disaster in the countries where they came to power and were capable of implementing their policies. To prevent the rise of authoritarian populism, it is necessary to understand its roots and reasons for its popularity.
The publication, which will shortly become available online, is one of the first staps towards opening a wider debate on this topic among the intellectual elite in Serbia and all those who would like to influence the public policy and political life through constructive fact based debate and in a meaningful and intellectually honest manner. On this task, we have brought together top Serbian experts in the fields of psychology, history, public opinion research, media, political theory, economics and political science, who each analyzed the popularity of authoritarian and populist movements in Serbia from their professional perspective. The analysis, therefore, is a product of the opinions from different fields of social science, public opinion research performed by Libek, and third party research and theory already available.
The publication is a part of the wider program to counter authoritarian populism in Serbia. So far, Libek has influenced the debate by publishing books, cooperating with the most prominent mainstream media on debunking economic myths that support populist messages, and organizing an educational course "The Introduction to the Studies of Totalitarianism“, which introduced around 20 participants to the dynamics behind the populist and authoritarian regimes of the XX century.