“A spectre is haunting the world: populism.” Those words date back to an international conference on the subject held at the London School of Economics in 1967. But they could have been written today. Populist leaders are tapping into anti-establishment sentiment, claiming to represent the real “will of the people”. Whether on the right or the left, their parties are anti-elitist and antipluralist. Anyone who disagrees is an “enemy of the people”, be they judges, academics or journalists. This antipluralist streak is what makes populists a threat to democracy. To counter this spectre, we must address the economic insecurity and fears about identity that populists have been able to exploit. The combination of technological change and globalisation has seen huge gains for the richest 1% everywhere and the middle class in emerging markets. The lower-middle and working class in most advanced economies have suffered. The McKinsey Global Institute found about two-thirds of households in 2...

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