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A Dangerous New Variant of Populism

Although populist governments have been further discredited by poor performances in the face of COVID-19, a new strain of the same politics is already taking shape. Anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists are finding common cause with voters who are worried about the implications of climate policies.

LONDON – Most of the “geopolitical” threats, real or confected, that capture headlines in the West nowadays are exogenous – emanating from China, Russia, Iran, and so forth. But others lie within the world’s democracies. Among these are the US Republican Party’s embrace of Trumpian authoritarianism, which is eroding the country’s democracy, and the possibility that new unanticipated variants of populism will take hold around the world.