Müller is a political scientist and sought-after expert on the crisis of representative democracy and the rise of populism in Europe. His “What is Populism” essay was recently published by Suhrkamp Verlag, in which he uses current developments to sketch out a theory of populism. He also poses the questions that are essential for a strong democracy: what do we really need parliaments for? Is there a place for a legitimate populism on the left? How do we deal with illegitimate power, especially the power of markets? In no uncertain terms he draws a line between populism and democracy. He aims to use his theses to help develop new strategies in the struggle with populists.
Jan-Werner Müller studied in Berlin, London, Oxford and Princeton. He has been a guest professor at the Collegium Budapest Institute of Advanced Study, the Remarque Institute at NYU and the Centre for European Studies at Harvard University, et al. Since 2005 he has taught political theory and history of ideas at Princeton.