Geo-Economics and Politics

This one chart explains the rise of populism in 2017

The global populist uprising has been fuelled largely by voter discontent with the centrist establishment that has dominated the Western political landscape Image: Barclays

Will Martin
Markets Reporter, Business Insider UK
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Barclays on Thursday dropped its annual Equity Gilt Study, which is a 200-page behemoth detailing the bank's views on the big drivers in macroeconomics and financial markets around the world.

Every year Barclays picks one key theme that it expects to shape global discourse over the coming year.

In 2016, the focus was on "how economies were struggling against disflationary pressures," but this year the goalposts have shifted massively, and one theme dominates the report: populism.

From Britain's historic decision to leave the European Union, to Austria coming close to electing a far-right president, and of course to the shocking US presidential victory of Donald Trump, 2016 was dominated by populist and nationalistic politics.

With Trump making his first policy moves as leader of the free world, Brexit talks set to begin within weeks, and populist far-right politicians like Marine Le Pen of France and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands set to win big vote shares in coming elections, populism continues to be crucial in 2017.

The global populist uprising has been fuelled largely by voter discontent with the centrist establishment that has dominated the Western political landscape for the past several decades. As Barclays wrote back in October, there is now "a perception among 'ordinary citizens' that political and institutional 'elites' do not accurately represent their preferences amid a growing cultural and economic divide."

Dubbed the "Politics of Rage" — a term that seems to trace its origins back to 20th-century US populist George Wallace but that has been popularised in recent months by Barclays — the phenomenon has myriad factors. Helpfully, Barclays included within the Equity Gilt Study a handy flowchart summarising the key drivers.

"While there are no 'smoking guns,' there seems to be a clear connection between voter rage and various forms of globalisation," the report says. "We have divided globalisation into three components: economic, political, and cultural."

Check out the graphic below:

Image: Barclays
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