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The Divergence of US and British Populism

With its recent election, France seemed to distinguish itself from the US and the UK, both of which seem to exemplify the populist revolt that swept the West in 2016. In fact, it is the UK – where rethinking the biggest political decision of people's lifetimes is viewed as an affront to democracy – that may be the odd one out.

LONDON – Britain, France, the United States – which is the odd one out politically? The answer seems obvious. Last year’s Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States were the twin symbols of populist revolt against global elites. In Emmanuel Macron, France, by contrast, has just elected as its president the quintessential “Davos Man” – a proudly globalist technocrat identified with his country’s most elitist financial, administrative, and educational institutions.