Research Lunch with Chris Aalberts: The Party That Is Me: The Political Movement of Thierry Baudet
1 February 2021
12:30 - 13:30
In many Western countries, radical right parties are currentlt attacking the foundations of liberal democracy, trying to undermine democratic institutions and turn population groups against each other.
In recent years, the Dutch political party of Thierry Baudet, Forum for Democracy, has become very popular in the Netherlands, next to the party PVV of Geert Wilders. In this research lunch, Chris Aalberts will talk about his book on Forum for Democracy: I am the party [De partij, dat ben ik].
Forum started in 2015, when Baudet established his own think tank. His goal was to change the way Dutch politics is functioning. After more than a year, it turned out that it was impossible to influence politics from the outside. According to Baudet, it had to be done from within: the Forum for Democracy party was born. A tumultuous period of growth and controversy starts. Forum develops into a powerful campaign machine, Baudet draws full theaters and lecture rooms and knows how to play the media time and again. In the background, his ally Henk Otten sets up an efficient organization that leaves no room for the participation of its members. In 2019 Baudet became the sole ruler, Forum becomes more extreme than before and the atmosphere became more sombre. Party members do not hesitate to intimidate their critics. At the end of 2020 the party largely falls apart.
Chris Aalberts followed the rise and fall of Forum for Democracy and speaks about its development in this research lunch. He analyzes the substantive content, the stormy success, the organization, the collapse and the question what we can learn from Forum for Democracy for new parties on the radical right in the Dutch elections of March.
The link to the event: