Asia's Reformist Antidote to Western Populism
A populist revolt across the West is eroding the liberal world order.
In the United Kingdom, British voters have brought about a revolution by electing to leave the European Union, against the better instincts of two-thirds of members of parliament who supported the Remain camp. In the United States, a minority of Republican voters has chosen Donald Trump as the party's presidential standard-bearer, even though he subscribes to few conservative principles and has never held elected office.
In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government survived the July 15 military coup attempt, has employed an Islamist-tinged populism to purge real and imagined political adversaries and preserve his grip on power, including through the imposition of emergency rule.
In America, Trump is surfing a wave of popular anger against Washington and Wall Street elites who have prospered in the globalized economy even as many citizens have not. In Britain, supporters of Brexit oppose EU membership in order to restore "democracy" in the U.K. by seizing back control from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.