2 November 2018   Leave a comment

Joshua Kurlantzick has written an essay on populism in Southeast Asia and how it is different from populism in the US and Europe.  One difference is clear–Southeast Asia sends many migrants to the world and, aside from local ethnic issues, does not experience an influx of refugees or asylum seekers.  Kurlantzick summarizes the key differences in this way:  “Southeast Asian populists focus on spurring religious and ethnic divides, countering drug trafficking, particularly of methamphetamines, and appealing to the working and lower-middle classes. The lower-middle classes, in particular, have become frustrated with democracy because they believe democratic politicians have not tackled inequality, addressed crime, or delivered effective state services.”  He then goes through many of the Southeast Asian countries and assesses the strengths and sources of populism in each.  Unfortunately, populism in Southeast Asia also supports authoritarian politics, as it does in Europe and the US.


US President Trump has dramatically announced the expected sanctions on Iran in a Tweet that mimics the “Game of Thrones” (HBO, the creator of Game of Thrones, issued this statement: “We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.”)  Interestingly, however, the US has also issued waivers to 8 countries so that they can continue to import Iranian oil without penalty.  It is not clear whether the US issued the waivers because of diplomatic pressure or out of fear that the universal application of the sanctions would raise oil prices precipitously.

Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump:

Posted November 2, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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