Nexus Symposium -

11 November 2010
13.30 – 17.45
Auditorium Tilburg University

The Return of the Ghosts

A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of populism, but also that of nationalism, communism, fascism, antisemitism, and fundamentalism. In the Netherlands, but also in the rest of Europe and in the entire Western world, phantoms we thought we had conquered when the twentieth century came to an end rear their heads once again. Why do these ghosts return, and why now? Has our democracy entered a crisis? Can we exorcise these ghosts, or are they inextricably bound up with the West? Will history repeat itself, or can we learn from the past? Prominent thinkers, politicians, diplomats, and writers discussed the old ghosts, their new incarnations, and their consequences for the Netherlands, Europe, America, and the rest of the world.


First panel discussion on the threats of our democracy: Mario Vargas Llosa, Paolo Flores Arcais, Max Blumenthal, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Eszter Salgo en Laszlo Foldenyi, moderated by Rob Riemen.

Published in

Journal Nexus

Nexus 56

De terugkeer van de spoken

De terugkeer van de spoken

Dutch publication with contributions of the speakers at the Nexus Symposium 2010. The authors show how populism and nationalism are modern guises of older ghosts and help us to answer the question: what now?


United States, 1977

Max Blumenthal


The Netherlands, 1958

Ab Klink

Christian Democratic politican

Peru, 1936

Mario Vargas Llosa

winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Germany, 1960

Britta Böhler

criminal defense lawyer

Netherlands, 1959 - 2016

Wim Brands

poet, TV and radio presenter

Italy, 1944

Paolo Flores d’Arcais

philosopher and writer

Hungary, 1978

Eszter Salgó

lecturer international relations

United States, 1952

Mitchell Cohen

author The Politics of Opera

Hungary, 1952

László F. Földényi

cultural scholar in the broadest sense of the word

Israel, 1960

Fania Oz-Salzberger

Israeli professor in the history of ideas and political commentator

The Netherlands, 1946 – 2023

Meindert Fennema

political theorist, Wilders biographer

The Netherlands, 1955

Paul Frissen

public administration expert

The Netherlands, 1933

Frits Bolkestein

liberal politician