Understanding the ‘Pop’ in Populism
The collapse in August of Italy’s latest governing coalition underscores once more the unexpected power of populism across the nations of the West. Central to this latest roiling is the desire to sideline Matteo Salvini, leader of right-wing populism, and to replace the latest government with a new coalition of anti-populists and left-wing populists led by Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte. Left or right, in Italy—as in Britain and elsewhere—populism of some kind continues to write history’s script in one unexpected country after another.
Immigration, economic inequality, and out-of-touch elites are among the most commonly cited engines of this transformative force. But what if there’s another common denominator that’s gone unnoticed?