The populist race: Neoliberalism falling behind, new right forging ahead, the left stumbling along

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article starts from the observation that recurrent economic crises, deepening social divisions, and rising levels of insecurity undermine the persuasiveness of market populism, which had accompanied, and, indeed, contributed to, the rise of neoliberal capitalism. It goes on to explain left- A nd right-wing populisms that draw on different aspect of liberal ideas, and can therefore be understood as transformations of market populism to some degree. Politically, right-wing populism, the article argues, thrives because the left is divided along several lines that make it difficult to attract much of today's discontent. The article looks at the divisions between globalists and sovereigntists, cosmopolitans and communitarians, and identity and class politics, respectively. It concludes with the idea that these divisions reflect different aspects of the unmaking of old working classes advanced by neoliberal restructuring, but also aspects of a possible making of new working classes. To further this, the left should put identity back into class politics, or highlight the presence of class divisions within identity politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalPerspectives on Global Development and Technology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • authoritarian populism
  • cosmopolitanism-communitarianism
  • globalism-sovereigntism
  • identity vs. class politics
  • market populism


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