The populist paradox

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By Lica Porcile, Norman Eisen

The past four years have seen a global rise in populist right-wing leaders with distinctly authoritarian tendencies. The paradoxical tendency of populist leaders to win on anti-corruption platforms only to then themselves engage in alleged corruption has been widely noted. But there remains much more to say about the underlying causes of this conundrum.

Three leaders whose rise and rule illustrate the underlying vulnerabilities of anti-corruption systems which populists exploit are Donald Trump in the United States, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. All used existing popular distrust of government and high

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