Populist parties have become a force to be reckoned with in many countries around the world. What explains this sudden, widespread re-emergence of political protest? In the new issue of insightLMU, three LMU specialists explore the driving forces behind this development.
In Western Europe 500 years ago a lone protester triggered a process that was to have far-reaching consequences – the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther’s emphasis on individual responsibility is widely regarded as having contributed to the secularization of European society. However, as LMU historian Robert Yelle explains, secularization did not begin with the Reformation, but is already implicit in the beginnings of Christianity.
Protest often provokes a backlash, which can ultimately ignite murderous civil conflict. As a high-ranking diplomat at the UN, LMU graduate Angela Kane was directly involved in efforts to defuse such a conflict. In 2013, Kane played a pivotal role in persuading the Assad regime to allow a UN investigation into the use of poison gas in Syria, and then to destroy its entire arsenal of chemical weapons. – But her greatest diplomatic success came elsewhere, as she outlines in an interview with insightLMU.
Turning to less fraught topics, the summer issue takes you to an art exhibition organized by LMU in Venice (which featured a live performance by artists from LMU) and on a culinary journey through Chinese history, and reports on the Workshop on “Intercultural Orders” held at LMU with graduate students and faculty from UC Berkeley. In addition, insightLMU shows how to avoid intercultural dis-order – by taking LMU’s certificate course in intercultural communications.