January 17, 2018
Nada Zohdy, Director – Open Gov Hub
***This post was originally published on the Open Gov Hub’s blog on January 16, 2018***
The second installment in the “Democracy Dialogues” series presented by the Open Gov Hub, Global Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, and Transparency International.
Several countries throughout Europe – as well as the United States – have witnessed a recent surge of populist movements. At the same time, these populist sentiments are sometimes harnessed and manipulated by politicians to consolidate their own personal wealth and power, and in doing so serve to further corruption (defined as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain).
How is it that leaders are able to assume power or entrench their own wealth and power on the backs of broad-based popular sentiments from the masses, who are often poorer and facing depressed economic circumstances? In other words, how are fears of the other stoked to win popular support by candidates whose policies in fact may counter the economic self-interest of struggling citizens?