Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Freelance journalist currently based in Berlin, chronicling the effects of populism on elections in Europe. Former Washington-based political reporter for CBS News, Politico and National Journal.
For the most part, headlines about the rise of right-wing populism and right-wing extremism in Europe started picking up in 2016, after the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the United States.
But in Slovakia, a right-wing extremist won election several years earlier: Marian Kotleba, who shocked the country when he won a regional election in 2013. This podcast, a narrated version of a long-form article by the Guardian's Shaun Walker, reconstructs the political conditions at the time, looking at who Kotleba is, how he built his political persona, and how he managed to defeat the establishment candidate. Kotleba, who was then voted out of office in the following regional election, is running as a candidate in this month's Slovak presidential election.
Ultimately, the piece sheds light on the current political situation in Slovakia — and provides context for the rise of the right wing across Europe. Voters in Slovakia "don't care if parties are left wing or right wing," one political staffer said; they just care if the government actually does something. As Slovakia enters the final stage of its presidential election and gears up for European Parliament elections, this podcast (and the corresponding written story) is worth the listen.