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LMC 2017

People Have the Power: Can Democracy Survive Populism?

Although mainstream parties in Western democracies have always been challenged by anti-establishment rivals, populism is thriving as never before. Donald Trump’s election victory and the Brexit vote exemplify the political impact of social distress and growing inequality.


Carl Bildt

Co-Chair, European Council on Foreign Relations

Phillip Blond
Phillip Blond

Head of the Respublica Think-Tank

Robert Cooper

Former British Diplomat, Author

Constanze Stelzenmüller

Director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution


Gideon Lichfield

Correspondent and Editor

Political outsiders frequently disregard the existing rules, inventing facts and disrespecting democratic institutions. Mainstream parties may feel forced to adopt the same tactics and rhetoric if they are to compete.

The anti-systemic newcomers offer easy answers, but no lasting solutions to the woes of the West.

  • What can be done to restore public trust in politics?
  • Can greater boldness help mainstream politicians and their parties regain the high ground—or are they doomed to fight a defensive battle?

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