Tag: populism

Protectionism Is Not the Answer

Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency, he has ridden a wave of right-wing populism to become the Republican presidential nominee. Throughout this entire process, he has adopted a protectionist, anti-immigration, and nativist political platform. While Trump’s success in politics has shocked the American public, his rise is only part of a global trend towards protectionism as political parties like UKIP in the UK, the National Front in France, and AfD in Germany have steadily gained in the polls. All of these protectionist political parties claim that their policies will “make their country great again.” However, there is no economic basis to these claims and implementing these protectionist policies will cause severe damage to the global economy.

Since the end of World War II, the world has rapidly become more globalized and connected. However, since the 2008 Financial Crisis, the world has experienced a period of unprecedented economic stagnation, leaving hundreds of millions of people impoverished and facing a bleak future. Unfortunately, this has fostered political discontent and extremism throughout the world. Like previous times of economic hardship, this has encouraged the rise of nationalistic, right-wing political forces that have rejected globalization. The rise of the Brexit movement in the UK and Euroskeptic political parties reflect this trend.

Populism – The Eternal Ideology

Populism – once associated mainly with Latin America – is now part of the political mainstream in western and eastern Europe. What’s behind this surge?

Populism is becoming global. While in past decades populist forces were only associated with Latin America, from at the least 1990s onwards populist leaders have been gaining ground in both eastern and western Europe.

While it is true that populism still wins executive power in Europe only rarely, populist parties have been established at the parliamentary level throughout this region.

In fact, practically every country in the Old World has at least one populist force from the radical right, such as the National Front in France or the Law and Justice Party in Poland. All of these parties strongly oppose immigration, refugees, and multiculturalism. In turn, new populist forces of the left have recently gained strength on the European continent, with parties such as Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece demanding an end to fiscal austerity and greater regulation of financial institutions.