Published September 18, 2023
Fifteen years ago, populist politicians and parties were seen as a reactionary blip which would soon fade. They are instead not only still present but rapidly gaining strength and power across the developed world.
It’s well past time to wonder if populist sentiments will fade. It’s rather time to consider the heretofore unthinkable: perhaps populism will be to the twenty-first century what labor union-backed social democracy was to the twentieth.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was the Thomas W. Smith distinguished scholar in residence at Arizona State University for the winter/spring 2023 semester.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.