After thirty years of retreat, the last decade has witnessed a resurgent left in the United States and Western Europe. This upsurge of anti-establishment candidates was not only left-wing but also populist. Though in most cases these movements ran out of steam before getting to a position to wield state power, many of the parties and figures associated with this wave of left populism have entered government and others are still contesting high office.
Providing a blow-by-blow history of the rise and defeat of this movement, Arthur Borriello and Anton Jäger guide us through the conditions that shaped it. Extreme and rising inequality, the collapse of civic life, and a lack of trust in traditional institutions have all played a part. In these circumstances, some form of populism was all but inevitable. And, despite defeats, left offensives will remain populist in nature for the foreseeable future. The formative conditions of crisis are still very much with us.