Daily Archives: Jun 9, 2018 at 08:31 am EDT

Book Bits | 9 June 2018

The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era
By Barry Eichengreen
Review via Foreign Affairs
In this survey of two centuries of populist movements and political revolts in Western democracies, Eichengreen argues that from the Luddites in early-nineteenth-century England to the upheavals of the interwar period, economic insecurity, labor dislocations, and rising inequality fueled backlash politics. Yet not all periods of economic hardship generate populist revolts, and not all populist revolts succeed. Eichengreen shows that populism tends to thrive most when economic insecurity exposes the divergent interests of the people and the elites. Societies become particularly ripe for populist backlashes in the wake of financial crises that lead to bailouts for plutocrats.
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