Parteien und Populisten

Die Zeiten sind nicht gut für politische Parteien, vor allem nicht für solche mit traditioneller Ausrichtung. Vorbei die Tage in den älteren Demokratien, als zwei Großparteien - eine sozialdemokratische und eine eher rechts der Mitte positionierte – die politische Bühne beherrschten.

In den neuen Demokratien der postkommunistischen Welt sind derartige Zweiparteiensysteme überhaupt nie entstanden. Heutzutage können die zwei größten Parteien eines Landes selten darauf hoffen, eine Zweidrittelmehrheit an Stimmen zu erringen. Gar nicht so selten muss eine „große Koalition“ gebildet werden. Die restlichen Stimmen verteilen sich auf viele unterschiedliche Gruppierungen – außer es bildet sich eine politische Kraft, die durch die Beschwörung nationalistischer oder sozialistischer Gefühle - oder einer Mischung aus beidem - die alten Parteienstrukturen radikal aufbricht.

Dieser Niedergang der Parteien spiegelt auch den Niedergang der Klassen wider. Das alte Proletariat und die alte Bourgeoisie sind verschwunden. An ihre Stelle trat eine manchmal so bezeichnete „nivellierte Mittelstandsgesellschaft“, an deren einem Ende sich allerdings eine bedeutende Elite der Superreichen befindet und am anderen eine Unterschicht.

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  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

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    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

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    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

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    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

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    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

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    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

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    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
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    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

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    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.