Sebastian Kurz, leader  of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP): likely to bring  Heinz-Christian Strache’s far-right Freedom Party into government. Photograph: Alex Halada/AFP/Getty Images

In the wake of the Dutch and French elections, and the defeats of Geert Wilders’s and Marine Le Pen’s respective parties, some commentators hailed wha(...)

 Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte:  new four-party coalition will exclude the far-right Freedom Party and its leader Geert Wilders. Photograph: EPA

After taking what is now the longest period since the second World War to form a government, the Netherlands is on the verge of a new four-party coali(...)

 President Donald Trump: his nominee for the job of US ambassador to the Netherlands was born in Groningen before emigrating with his family to the US aged three. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Leaving aside the controversial president who’s proposing him, it would be hard to find a person less at one with the deeply ingrained liberal ethos o(...)

Dutch government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm (centre) with Alexander Pechtold of Democrats 66, Sybrand van Haersma Buma (Christian Democratic Appeal), Gert-Jan Segers (Christian Union CU) and Mark Rutte (The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) all seek to form a new cabinet in The Hague. Photograph: Remko de Waal

After 112 days and now on their third “sherpa”, talks aimed at forming a new Dutch coalition government are under way again, this time including the u(...)

French far-right Front National (FN) party’s Member of Parliament Marine Le Pen speaks to  the press after French president Emmanuel Macron gave a speech during a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) in the palace of Versailles, outside Paris, on July 3rd, 2017. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Populism has been on the rise in the West for more than four decades. But the earth-shattering events of the past year, the Brexit referendu(...)

Emmanuel Macron, France’s president: “A technocratic ex-investment banker who embodies the French elite.” Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

In much of the world, if you take a long view of the trajectory of human progress, things are looking pretty good just now. Poverty is falling at a fa(...)

Geert Wilders: “Shutting me out means sidelining the 1.3 million people who voted for the Freedom Party.” Photograph: Phil Nijhuis/AFP/Getty Images

The Muslim mayor of Rotterdam has made a surprise call for far-right anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to be included in talks on a new coalition go(...)

 Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister: 83 days since the general election and  no sign of a workable government yet. Photograph:   EPA/Stephanie LeCocq

It’s 83 days since the Dutch general election returned prime minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals at the head of the polls, but still there’s no sign of a w(...)

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen temporarily resigned as leader of the Front National saying she wanted to be “above partisan considerations”. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The Holocaust came back to haunt Marine Le Pen’s presidential campaign again on Friday, just nine days before the second round of the French president(...)

Bayern Munich’s  Philipp Lahm: “The wrong ones, the populists, should not have more power,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

The anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Monday told Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm, who captained the German national side to World Cu(...)