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Reference no. 9-118-029
Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2017)
13 November 2017
Revision date:
15 pages
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While the first decade of the 21st century saw a massive financial crisis that led to significant economic downturn, the second decade saw the rise of political leaders, who built their support upon a political message that championed the common person against the collective enemy - the political and economic elite. Historically, waves of populism were infrequent and occurred almost exclusively in developing nations. However, not seen since the pre-World War II years had populist leaders gained such a following throughout the developed world - in countries with the strongest democracies. Driven heavily by growing inequality and degrading trust in institutions, populist leaders took global elections by storm. Populist movements raised the fundamental question of the role of business in the development of the conditions for the genesis of these movements, especially in relation to inequality, and how business would respond to subsequent government interventions that reduced the freedom of markets.


Business & government relations; Capital controls; Capital markets; Coalitions; Financial crisis; Financial market efficiency; Financial markets; Influence; Labor markets; Partnerships; Political systems; Roles; Social equality; Social issues; Society and business relations

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