In this webinar organised by UGent a historical perspective on (far-right) populist parties across Europe will be given first. In combination with recent empirical research an attempt will be made to offer an explanation for the impact far-right parties can have on liberal democracy in general, and on specific policies in particular. In the second part we will focus on the radical left and right supporters. It will be argued that political cynicism is their relevant attitude and we will discuss in which way political cynics have become highly effective. We will also offer suggestions for how traditional parties may overcome the “trust crisis” in politics.