Populist politics in Europe and their impact on EU relations with the Middle East

EU–Turkey relations as a case study

Authored by: Ayhan Kaya

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter aims to assess the correlation between populism in and outside of Europe, its impact on EU relations with the Middle East in general, and on Turkey in particular. Following a literature review on the current state of populist movements and political parties in the EU as well as on the findings of comparative fieldwork conducted in several European countries, the chapter seeks to understand and explain how the debates on migration, refugees, mobility and Islam have an impact on the rise of extreme right-wing populism, as well as on co-radicalisation processes. Starting with the depiction of the main constituents of populist rhetoric in Europe vis-à-vis migrants and refugees, the chapter subsequently analyses the impact of right-wing European populisms on relations between the EU and the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries. In the last section of the chapter, the impact of right-wing populism and Islamophobism on EU–Turkey relations will be analysed as a case study.

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