Populism or Transformative Movements?

Progressive movements confront populism, resist notions they cannot win elections, and campaign to reduce inequality and widen opportunities; US Senator Bernie Sanders envisions a better future, and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, helps pack lunches for children

Progressive movements promising social, political and economic transformation are the antidote to the anger and fear associated with polarization and populism. The leaders of left-transformative movements pursue serious policymaking to reduce inequality while increasing opportunity and citizen participation, argue Seren Selvin Korkmaz, a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, and Alphan Telek, a PhD candidate at Science Po Paris and Boğaziçi University. The article focuses on the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the Our Revolution movement led by US Senator Bernie Sanders, but the writers explain that the left-transformative characterization also applies to La France Insoumise, the Five Star Movement in Italy, Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece as well as movements emerging in Iran and Tunisia. The progressive leaders share similar goals, and progress by one lifts others by countering the notion that “the left cannot win elections in the neoliberal era.” Korkmaz and Telek conclude, “Left-transformation is a global phenomenon and can reach its ultimate aims with national and international solidarity.” – YaleGlobal