The party's over

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In contrast to incumbent Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his potential successor, Malcolm Turnbull, is often described as ‘charismatic’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Are ‘charismatic’ leaders really charismatic?

Those of us who study politics are fortunate, but also unfortunate, to work in an academic field whose terms are widely used and abused in public debate. “Populist”, which I’ve written about here, is one…
The Sweden Democrats, under acting leader Mattias Karlsson, have triggered a political crisis. EPA/Pontus Lundahl

Should mainstream parties have a blacklist?

Politicians will do anything to get into power. They’ll promise the earth and make deals with whoever they need to if it means they can govern. This is the kind of line you hear the world over. While it…
Anti-Islam: Geert Wilders. EPA/VALERIE KUYPERS

Rise of Euroscepticism masks general apathy about EU vote

One month to go until the 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections. The candidates have been chosen, the posters printed and the media interpretation of the results (probably) decided. “A wake-up call for…
Consummate political performer: Matteo Renzi. Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

Springtime for Matteo Renzi, Italy’s untested political tyro

Three weeks can be an awfully long time in politics. Last Thursday, Matteo Renzi, the new leader of Italy’s Democratic Party (PD) – the largest member of the country’s ruling coalition – announced that…