populism

People attend a rally for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev on March 17. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty)

Ukraine’s Poroshenko Paradox

In upcoming elections, the incumbent president may well lose to a man who plays one on TV.

Mourners gather outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia after a 28-year-old Australian-born man, Brenton Tarrant, appeared in Christchurch District Court on Saturday charged with murder for killing 49 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history.

The Inspiration for Terrorism in New Zealand Came From France

The gunman who massacred Muslims was inspired by ideas that have circulated for decades on the French far-right.

Jacob Rees-Mogg poses for a photograph in central London on Oct. 18, 2018. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

Brexiteers Never Wanted Brexit to Begin With

History will show that the biggest obstacle to Brexit was its most fervent supporters. That’s no accident.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and France's President Emmanuel Macron at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, on Sept. 20, 2018.  (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images)

The EU’s Next Big Election Is Heading for Disaster

If nationalists keep the momentum in the run-up to the European Parliament elections, the EU will never be the same again.

Former Labour and Conservative MPs Heidi Allen (L), Chuka Umunna (2L), Anna Soubry (3L), Chris Leslie (5L), Mike Gapes (6L), Ann Coffey (C), Luciana Berger (5R) and Angela Smith (3R) of the independent group of MPs are surrounded by pro- and anti-Brexit protesters as they arrive for their inaugural meeting at Institute of civil engineers on February 25, 2019 in London.

The British System Is Stacked Against Breakaway Parties

The Independent Group could influence the direction of Britain's politics, but it won't be by winning large numbers of seats in Parliament.

Alessandro Mahmoud, who goes by Mahmood, on stage during the first night of the 69th Sanremo Music Festival in Sanremo, Italy, on Feb. 5. (Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)

According to Italy’s Leaders, Rap Music Is Un-Italian

When a rapper named Alessandro Mahmoud won the country’s most prestigious music contest, xenophobic leaders quickly took advantage of his victory to open a new front in the culture war.

Italy's 5-Star Movement party leader Beppe Grillo on May 19, 2014 in Rome.   (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Comedians Will Soon Rule the World

It’s no accident that a growing number of international comics are running for office—and winning.

Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) attend a ceremony marking the seventh anniversary of the presidential plane crash in Smolensk, Russia in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw, on April 10, 2017. Then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski the twin brother of PiS's figurehead, Jaroslaw Kaczynski—was among those who died in the crash on April 10, 2010.

Poland’s Historical Revisionism Is Pushing It Into Moscow’s Arms

The country doesn’t need an openly pro-Russian political party. Its own government’s attempts to rewrite Polish history play directly into Vladimir Putin’s hands.

A man waves a French flag next to an Italian flag, as other protesters wearing a yellow vest demonstrate on December 22, 2018, in Ventimiglia near the French-Italian border.

Italy’s Populists Have Lost Their Luster. They’re Looking to France to Win It Back.

Five Star used to be a protest movement; now it’s the establishment. By bashing Emmanuel Macron and embracing the yellow vest uprising, it’s hoping to restore its radical credentials.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, July 19, 2018.

Theodor Herzl Was Willing to Tolerate Europe’s Far-Right. Should Israel’s Leaders Do the Same?

Shunning populist parties won’t make Jews safer. Engaging with them is a matter of realpolitik, and Israel should focus on contemporary threats, not those of the past.

Robert Biedron, the liberal, pro-European and openly-gay mayor of the north Polish city of Slupsk, greets supporters at the launch of his new political movement Wiosna on Feb. 3, 2019 in Warsaw. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

The Future of Politics Is Coming to Poland

Promising newcomers are threatening to tear apart the country’s two-party system in every direction.

Vladimir Putin walks out of a voting booth at a polling station during Russia's presidential election in Moscow on March 18, 2018. (Yuri Kodobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Putin Wants to Dissolve the Russian People and Elect Another

The Russian president was a man of the common people—until the common people started making demands.

Then-British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for a working dinner meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels, on May 25, 2017.

Don’t Fear the Deep State. It’s the Shallow State That Will Destroy Us.

Populists like to blame elites, but from Israel to Britain to the United States their crusade against hardworking civil servants is undermining the foundations of democracy.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives at the European Council in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2018. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Irony Is the Secret to Saving Democracy

How has the Czech Republic avoided the nationalist populism tearing apart Poland and Hungary? By not taking itself too seriously.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum on Jan. 22, 2019 in Davos, Switzerland. (Fabrice Coferini/AFP/Getty Images)

Davos Has Learned to Fake Populism

The world’s most powerful economic elites are using anti-globalist rhetoric to help turbocharge globalization—and enrich themselves.

Vice-chairman of the Momentum party Anna Donath at a protest in downtown Budapest on Dec. 16, 2018. (Peter Kohalmi/AFP/Getty Images)

Hungary Finally Has an Opposition Worth a Damn

The country’s youngest party has united the left and right against Viktor Orban.

President Jair Bolsonaro waves a Brazilian flag while addressing supporters during his inauguration ceremony in Brasilia on Jan. 1, 2019. (Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazil’s Love Affair With Diplomacy Is Dead

A leader in liberal internationalism is about to turn its back on the world.

Michel Houellebecq attends an art show on June 2, 2017, in Manhattan, New York. (Eduardo Munoz Alverez/AFP/Getty Images)

Michel Houellebecq Hated Europe Before You Did

The latest novel by France’s most famous author cements his reputation as a prophet of populism.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May returns to 10 Downing Street in central London after making a statement following the announcement of a draft deal on post-Brexit trade ties with the EU on Nov. 22. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Drama on Downing Street

Five Reads: The best Foreign Policy stories of 2018 on Brexit.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer waves to delegates at a national conference of the CDU on Dec. 7, 2018 in Hamburg. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

The Next Merkel? Not Quite

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is like her mentor in style, but not in substance—and, for Germany, that will make all the difference.

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