National populism is unstoppable – and the left still doesn’t understand why | Matthew Goodwin

It’s not about immigration, the financial crisis, globalisation or inequality, but evidence of a broader, older social fragmentation

For a number of years Europe has been in the midst of a significant challenge from national populism, as a succession of recent elections have shown in Italy, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. Yet this is a movement that remains poorly understood. Parties on the radical left and Greens are also making gains in some countries, but they are having nothing like the electoral or policy impact of the far right. It has emerged in democracies that were always thought to be immune to this political force. When I first started working on the subject in the late 1990s, an unwritten law of sorts was that there were four democracies that would never succumb. They were Sweden and the Netherlands, because they were historically liberal, the UK because of its strong political institutions and civic culture, and…

Original published: 2018-11-08 10:05:56 Read the full Vienna News here

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