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Invitation for the Media: Rapid Advance of Conservatives and Right-wing Populists in International Comparison

International Symposium on February 17 and 18, 2020, at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 034/2020 from Feb 14, 2020

An international conference to be held on February 17 and 18, 2020, at the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) at Freie Universität Berlin will address the strengthening of conservative and right-wing populist movements worldwide, especially in Brazil. The focus will be on the situation in Brazil after the first year of government of President Jair Bolsonaro. In lectures and panel discussions, social scientists will speak about the background of the shift to the right in countries such as Brazil, Turkey, the Philippines, and Poland; about right-wing populist communication strategies; about the political capture of the judiciary and the political instrumentalization of ethnic and gender differences by conservative forces in the various countries. The reactions of progressive movements against the conservative pressure in Brazil and also in Germany will be discussed in a panel. The aim is to compare the challenges for democracy and cohesion that the shift to the right in Brazil brings with other countries, and to seek explanations for the global phenomenon of the so-called conservative backlash. The conference entitled “The Conservative Backlash: Brazil in Comparative Perspective” was organized by LAI of Freie Universität Berlin. The cooperation partners are the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, the Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America, and the ETSAL/IESP/State University of Rio de Janeiro. It is being sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The conference language is English. Journalists are welcome to attend. Please register by email to: leander.badura@fu-berlin.de.

“Social science has underestimated the current success of conservative, right-wing movements,” explains Prof. Dr. Sérgio Costa from LAI at Freie Universität Berlin. Jair Bolsonaro, for example, embodies these developments in Latin America. According to Professor Costa, it has so far not been possible to scientifically classify political change – the “conservative backlash” – or to understand its multidimensional causes and global interdependencies. Costa emphasizes that the international conference at Freie Universität can now contribute to changing that.

Time and Location

  • Monday, February 17, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Latin American Studies, Room 201, Rüdesheimer Straße 54/56, 14197 Berlin

More Information



Prof. Dr. Sérgio Costa, Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838- 55464, Sec.: +49 30 838 59749 (Marcela Osses), Email: sergio.costa@fu-berlin.de