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Keeping populism at bay: today’s policy failures are tomorrow’s political nightmares

The populist threat looks to have been neutralised over recent months—at least on the continent. But if political leaders aren’t careful, it will come back with a vengeance

By Sophie Gaston  

French president Emmanuel Macron: a short, rather than long-term solution to populism? Photo: Shan Yuqi/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The astonishing success of Emmanuel Macron across the Channel has provided a rapturous symbol of hope to liberals who find themselves on the wrong side of history, living in the shadow of Donald Trump and Brexit and authoritarian impulses.

But it is important to remember the pernicious and deep-seated influence that populist narratives continue to play in our societies, long after they are seemingly “neutralised” at the ballot box.

The political…

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