Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Catherine E. de Vries, Isabell Hoffmann

The Power of the Past

How Nostalgia Shapes European Public Opinion

Format Type
Date of publication
32 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Nostalgia is a powerful political tool. References to a better past are skillfully employed by populist political entrepreneurs to fuel dissatisfaction with present-day politics and anxiety about the future. But we know little about who is most receptive to those messages evoking a halcyon, bygone era. What share of the European public is nostalgic about the past, and what kind of political solutions does it prefer? In this report, we provide an in-depth look into Europeans’ feelings of nostalgia and how they affect views about politics today.


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