7th Prague Populism Conference. Creator: Kateřina Kubánková. All rights reserved.

Expert conference

Monday, 16. May 2022 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm Save in my calendar

Expert conference

Current Populism in Europe and Climate Change: Public Event

Keynote Paper and Panel Discussion

We invite you to the highlights of the seventh Prague Populism Conference, that is held 15 - 17 May 2022 and will analyze European populist parties and movements and their approach towards climate change

We would like to draw your attention to the keynote paper and panel discussion entitled Climate change: new target, or new weapon of the populists?

Speakers will focus specifically on social movements in times of pandemics, as well as climate narratives and the possibilities of societal debate on solutions to the climate crisis in Central Europe.


WHEN: Monday 16 May 2022. 3.45 pm - 7.00 pm

WHERE: Goethe-Institut (Masarykovo nábřeží 32, Prague 1)

The event will be livestreamed on Facebooku and YouTube

LANGUAGE: Czech-English interpretation




16:00 – 16:15    Opening of the public event

Radka Wildová (Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)

Hans-Peter Hinrichsen (Deputy Head of Mission and Head of the Political Affairs Unit, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague)

Tomáš Nigrin (Director, Institute of International Studies, Charles University)


16:15 – 17:15    Keynote Paper

Donatella Della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)

Social movements in pandemic times: challenges and opportunities for progressive politics

Pandemic times have seen the mobilization of waves of protests of very different types. On the one hand, disruptive protests have mobilized coalitions of the radical right, esoteric anti-vaccines, anti-EU, and ultra-conservative Christian groups, that have targeted the measures taken to mitigate contagion up to the very denial of the pandemic. In these groups, populist visions have fuelled conspirative beliefs already spread in regressive politics. On the other hand, progressive social movements have mobilized in defense of social rights and participatory democracy. In different forms – including innovative repertoires of protest in the street but also initiatives practicing mutual help and the development of alternative knowledge – progressive social movements have claimed and produced solidarity, by bridging claims on social and environmental justice within a broad call for health rights.

Building upon ongoing research on social movements during the pandemic, the keynote will address the broader question of the opportunities and challenges the pandemic brings about for progressive politics.


17:15 – 18:00 Coffee Break

18:00 – 19:30    Panel discussion

Climate change: new target, or new weapon of the populists?

Climate change has finally risen high on the political agenda in recent years. However, Central European countries often tend to question or refuse European climate policies as something imposed that can destroy the region's economy and human welfare. How do the ruling parties approach the challenges of climate change, though, and (what) solutions do they offer? Is climate change becoming a new instrument in the hands of populists? What story do they tell about climate crisis, and how is it shaped by the media? What action should we take to bring the political debate back to reality?


Kata Balint, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Brussels

Jan Krajhanzl, Masaryk University, Brno

Magdalena Klarenbach, Open Plan Foundation, Krakow

Hosted by Adéla Jurečková, Head of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Prague


Glass of wine and refreshment after the discussion.



Donatella della Porta is an Italian sociologist and political scientist, who is Professor of political science and political sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore. She is known for her research in the areas of social movements, corruption, political violence, police and policies of public order. Between 2003 and 2015 she has been Professor of Sociology at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute.

Kata Balint is a Hungarian analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, where she supports research across a range of geographies on disinformation, extremism and hate speech, using large-scale social media data analysis methods and advanced open-source investigation techniques. Her areas of research include climate mis- and disinformation, state-sponsored influence operations, and far-right radicalisation and extremism.

Magdalena Klarenbach is a social science researcher, activist and NGO worker with 10 years’ experience in ecological/climate education. Her research interests are connected with climate change, climate justice and colonialism, especially in an East European context. She is the founder and board member of the Open Plan Foundation (an environmental NGO from Poland).

Jan Krajhanzl is a social and environmental psychologist specializing in communication strategy development in the environmental field. He is the founder and director of the 2050 Institute and works concurrently at the Department of Environmental Studies at Masaryk University. He is the author or co-author of many publications and research in this field.

The full programme of the 7th Prague Populism Conference is available at the Prague populism Conference Facebook page.


➽ See event description
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Prague - Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary