You might think that a global public health crisis would boost public trust in experts, reinforce support for international cooperation, and restore faith in the multilateral institutions leading the response. You might, therefore, assume that the coronavirus pandemic wouldn't play in favor of the largely expert-blasting, populist nationalists who have swept to power in recent years. In truth, the picture is more mixed, and populists may ultimately benefit from the pandemic upheaval. A few thoughts:
Before the coronavirus hit Europe in March, mainstream political parties were struggling to contain the rise of populist and anti-establishment forces. Did COVID-19 change that trend? While a handful of major populist parties have lost some support and a few others have gained in the polls, voter intention for most of these forces has not in fact changed significantly. We take a look a how ten EU populist parties have polled over the past six months.
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How does Europe fit in? Even before the pandemic struck, Europe was struggling to redefine its role in a world where the US is a more fickle ally and China is a more assertive challenger. In particular, Brussels has been trying to style itself as a global leader in the responsible regulation of tech companies. In some ways, the pandemic has boosted those ambitions: as governments use contact tracing apps and facial recognition to help stop the spread, Brussels regulators are paying close attention. They're also cracking down on misinformation about the coronavirus. But first the EU has a bigger challenge to address. Faced with the worst economic crisis in its history, it has to prove to a rising chorus of (euro)skeptics that it is capable of cushioning the blow, and equitably rebooting economic growth across the Union. The European Commission, fearing an economic and even political fragmentation of the bloc, has unveiled an unprecedented 750 billion euro coronavirus rescue plan -- but not all member states are in favor.
Trump scraps the Iran deal, China gets cagey with Taiwan, and National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg admits that he is not pure.
A pure conservative, that is.
+OFFICE HOURS (Iran Edition) +PUPPET REGIME ZUCKThe United States will no longer play global policeman, and no one else wants the job. This is not a G-7 or a G-20 world. Welcome to the GZERO. Every week Ian Bremmer will interview the world leaders and the thought leaders shaping our GZERO World.
"My natural inclination, from the start, was to be really, really supportive of Donald Trump's message."
A little over a year since a wave of populist support in "flyover country" helped elect President Donald J. Trump, Ian Bremmer descends from the snowflaked perches of his globalist headquarters in New York to discuss the state of Trump's base with Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance.
Plus, a new segment we call: PUPPET REGIME.