Populists like Zuma a threat to democracy‚ says Stellenbosch expert

This exposed citizens to more severe economic and social risks and increased inequality. “Global technological advances call for highly skilled individuals [who] are more mobile and generally financially better off than their less skilled fellow citizens who have fewer job opportunities … This disparity evokes resentments that can lead to populism.

“The rise in populism is also a response to the growing inflow of migrants and refugees‚ which the open borders of democratic nation-states facilitate‚” said Van Beek‚ founder and director of the Transformation Research Unit in Stellenbosch’s political science department.

“The populist tendencies have spread even to the most established democracies; the election of Donald Trump … is a good example of people who feel marginalised and who are thus ready to support a populist candidate promising them a better life.”

The book‚ with contributions by leading researchers across the world‚ says populists are not anti-democracy. Instead‚ they “erode the liberal values of democracy through their rhetoric and attempts to undermine liberal institutions to better serve their own ends”‚ said Van Beek.

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