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Can Economic Populism Preempt Political Populism?

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Harvard University Professor Dani Rodrik argues that while political populism stifles pluralism and undermines liberal democratic norms, economic populism is occasionally necessary. In some cases, it may even help forestall the arrival of its more dangerous cousin.

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In Defense of Economic Populism

Dani Rodrik
  • Populists’ aversion to institutional restraints extends to the economy, where they oppose obstacles placed in their way by autonomous regulatory agencies, independent central banks, and global trade rules. 

  • But while populism in the political domain is almost always harmful, economic populism can sometimes be justified.
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    China’s Risky Endgame in Hong Kong

    Minxin Pei

    In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that by the time the People’s Republic celebrates its centenary in 2049, it should be a “great modern socialist country” with an advanced economy. But following through with planned measures to tighten mainland China's grip on Hong Kong would make achieving that goal all but impossible.

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