April 2017


Populism rises again

In the post-truth world of 2016, the day of the demagogue arrived. President Duterte played Dirty Harry in the Philippines. A pussy-grabbing, fact-denying, tax-shirking billionaire got elected US president. Smirking Brexiteers lied through their teeth and had their way. Authoritarian populists have stoked anger and division, and exposed faultlines in democracy. In this edition we ask, what is the appeal of the appalling? And is a progressive populism the answer?







Stories making the news this month
6 Water protectors promote democracy in Morocco
6 No cash, little hope for India’s poor
7 The ugly face of Benetton
7 Introducing Adama Barrow
7 Sudan targets Darfuri students
8 Flamingos under fire in Iraq
8 Challenging deportation in Britain
9 Murders most foul in Mexico
9 March for Aleppo
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story -

10 The will of the people
Hardliners are thriving on popular disenchantment with politics. Dinyar Godrej on the challenge they pose.
15 Is democracy in danger?
The surveys showing cause for concern.

16 Whose truth is it anyway?
NJ Enfield on ‘alternative facts’ and true believers.

18 The Establishment is not a viable candidate
The Trump shock shows that the same old same old is no longer an option. Jonathan Matthew Smucker on building the progressive alternative.

21 Mr Tough
The violence of the Duterte regime in the Philippines and the devotion of his fans, as witnessed by Iris C Gonzales.

24 The populist moment
It’s time for a rough and ready populism of the Left, says Richard Swift.

28 A personal welcome
In Canada, private sponsors are paying refugees’
resettlement costs. But should such a scheme be replicated elsewhere? Sian Griffiths reports.
PLUS Open Window, with guest cartoonist Pedro X Molina from Nicaragua.
32 A second chance
Rebecca Cooke meets young women in Mozambique who
are defying the odds and resisting child marriage.

31 Mark Engler
When sanctuary is resistance.

Mixed media
34 Film reviews
A Quiet Passion, directed by Terence Davies; The Salesman, directed by Asghar Farhadi.
35 Music reviews
République Amazone by Les Amazones d’Afrique; A Common Truth by Saltland.
36 Book reviews
They Can’t Kill us All by Wesley Lowery; Romaphobia by Aidan McGarry; Familiar Stranger by Stuart Hall with Bill Schwartz; heretics by Leonardo Padura.
PLUS Also out there...

4 Letters
The dilemma of giving; loaded terms; locating the Spratlys.
5 Letter from Cochabamba
Amy Booth experiences a distinctly Bolivian form of protest.
26 Country Profile: Cambodia
38 And Finally
Veteran journalist P Sainath tells Charukesi Ramadurai about his latest project, the People’s Archive of Rural India.




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