ABSTRACT

The Western economies have experienced a troubled decade following the financial crash of 2008. The slow recovery, the stagnation of wages, and rising inequality are among the factors cited to explain the rise of new anti-system movements within Western democracies. This paper explores this phenomenon, setting it in the context of the rise of a new world order after 1991. It examines criticisms of the new unipolar world, particularly Dani Rodrik’s claim that the advance of globalization has steadily undermined Western democracies and led to a populist backlash against globalization. It then explores some of the forms that this populism has taken, with special focus on the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and the internal problems of the European Union.