The Surge of Populism

What is Populism, and why is it rising throughout the world?

What is Populism?

In an always changing-world, one trend is gaining popularity, and that is populism. The surge of populism can not be confined into any particular region or ideology because populism has gained attraction both from the right and the left in different countries. From the rise of nationalist politicians in Europe and Middle East to charismatic leaders in Americas gaining electoral successes. Populism rises in various forms, usually unique to the political atmosphere in each unique region. But why are populist politicians and populism gaining traction?

Unlike other ideologies, populism places its primary focus on championing the interest of the “ordinary citizens” against the established elites. Populist politicians are often portrayed as the sole defender of the interests of the “ordinary citizens.”

Factors Related to the Surge of Populism

Frequently, populist ideas spark from various factors, first being economic dissatisfaction of the general populace. Globalization of the world economy has lead to increased competition, outsourcing and job insecurities of some sectors. This leads to a dissatisfaction of the people who work in the sectors that are affected by the globalization of the economy. Also, increasing income inequality can lead to resentment and frustration of the people towards the system.

Another key factor that sparks populism, cultural and identity concerns of the population. Mass immigration often portrays one of the biggest roles in the surge of populist movements. Rapid demographic changes lead to fears of losing the cultural identity and jobs of the citizens. Also, populist politicians frequently use nationalism to appeal to the citizen’s national pride and identity. Generally, invoking nationalism includes negative sentiments toward multiculturalism and globalization of the world.

Most regularly, populist politicians place themselves as the anti-establishment figure that is championing the rights of the ordinary citizen. Rallying themselves against the established political elites that are seem to be out of touch with the general populace. Another key factor regarding this phenomenon is corruption scandals. Examples of corruption by the political elite can create a general dissatisfaction towards the established elites, which the populist politician claims that themselves will clean up the system from any corruption scandals. Finally, on an economical scale austerity policies, the policies that are implemented by the governments after an economic crisis, which can lead to a general dissatisfaction of the general populace to the government. Populist politicians may exploit this dissatisfaction by rejecting the austerity policies and instead protect the interest of the “ordinary citizen”.

Modern Factors That Affects The Surge of Populism

A modern factor to the rise of populism is the social media. While social media allows us to acquire knowledge in an easy and a fast way, it also allows the spread of misinformation. Misinformation can manipulate and sway the populaces’ opinion towards the wanted result.

A final factor that contributes to the surge of populist politicians and populism as a whole is their self-claimed identity as “the person of the people”. This identity, coupled up with charismatic quantities and simple solutions, these leaders establish a direct and efficient dialogue with the general populace.

Sources & Bibliography

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