This simulation game highlights the sources and characteristics of right-wing movements and parties in the European Union. In addition to analysing the conditions of success of right-wing populism, it offers a platform to think about strategies to deal with this issue. The setting is a fictional country called “Vulkania” in which the three ethnic groups, Vulkanians, Betians and Rehans are living. Due to a rough phase in Vulkania’s economy ethnic tensions have increased and a new political party, the Movement for Vulkania’s Rebirth, has emerged and is gaining support by provoking a threat on the Vulkanian nation and blaming minorities for the lack of jobs and an increase in crime.
Scenario & Procedure
As elections are coming up and the country drives more and more into a deep crisis, the conservative government is trying to gain support by inviting all political actors to a conference. In the end, the government proposes an action plan for an education and security reform which addresses the current issues in Vulkania. Within conferences and open negotiation panels the actors try to enforce their interests while pressing their opponents to give in on theirs. In this context the established parties shall accommodate all different interests. In regard to the current events and the increasing dissatisfaction in the population, this task poses a particular challenge.
The overall objective of this simulation game is to help participants identifying the characteristics of right-wing populism, especially, it focus on the demonstration of the ability of right-wing populist parties and movements, to exploit existing crises and conflict lines within societies. It also puts an emphasize on the question in how far the mere existence of a right-wing populist party influences the political culture as such.
- Possible tools to fight right-wing populism; personal negotiation skills; forming of coalitions
- To acquire first-hand and personal experience of the functioning of right-wing populist parties
- To understand the complexity of negotiation processes in politics and policy-making and the need for compromises in democratic societies