Don’t count right-wing populism out. While technocrats have seen their fortunes rise under lockdown, the sense of national decline and disarray that first brought leaders like Donald Trump to power still has a bright future.
Arthur Borriello is a postdoctoral researcher of the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.–FNRS) affiliated with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB Cevipol). His research focuses on the political management of the economic crisis within the Euro area and on the upsurge and transformations of populist movements in Southern Europe.
In just ten years, the Five Star Movement has risen from nowhere to become Italy’s leading party, and then collapsed again. Its volatile support and eclectic politics aren’t just an Italian quirk — they show how voter binds to political institutions are crumbling across the West.
Left populism is the new idiom of radical politics worldwide. It emerged as the answer to the problem of a weak and disorganized working class — but despite its electoral successes, that class remains weak and disorganized.