Simen Ekern

Author and journalist

Simen Ekern (born 1975) is an author and a journalist. He has worked as a correspondent in Brussels for several years, and is currently living in Rome. He has covered European politics and public debate for several media, including Dagbladet, TV 2, and Morgenbladet, as well as being a prolific commentator for other outlets. Ekern has a degree in the history of ideas, and is considered one of Norway’s leading experts on Italy. He received the European of the Year award in 2015 by Young Europeans of Norway. 

He debuted in 2006 with the book Berlusconi’s Italy. He published Rome in 2011, a book about Italy’s dramatic and bloody post-war history, which won the Brage Prize for Best Non-fiction Book by the Norwegian Book Prize Foundation. 

His book Europeans from 2015 is a depiction of the political consequences of the economic recession that hit Europe. In it, Ekern describes political entrepreneurs who, in dramatic fashion, would come to dominate the topics of public debate in the following years – like Victor Orbán in Hungary and the Five Star Movement of Italy. 

In the follow-up book, I am the people (2017) Ekern dives deeper into the story of European right-wing populism’s growth and future, through meetings with key figures like Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini. Ekerns books have been translated into several languages.