Marc Fleurbaey

Marc Fleurbaey is the Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies and professor of public affairs at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values.

Recent Articles

Why Populism Challenges Democracy from Within

Declining socioeconomic wellbeing is fueling populist movements in the United States and around the globe, to the detriment of representative democracy.

(Photo: Sipa via AP/Anna Ferensowicz)
(Photo: Sipa via AP/Anna Ferensowicz) Hundreds gathered in Warsaw, Poland, on February 6, 2016, to protest what they called the "Islamization of Europe." The protest was part of a European-wide protest happening in other major cities across Europe. P opulism is often invoked in the press to describe political developments, including Donald Trump’s recent presidential win, usually in negative terms. But some observers see populism in a more positive light, as a form of direct democracy, or as a symptom of important social problems that should not be dismissed. Today’s democracies do, indeed, face challenging difficulties, but for a variety of reasons, populism is not the remedy. Populism today has four important aspects : It flourishes in democratic political systems; it represents a radical form of majoritarian action; it flourishes amid social distress and increasing economic inequality; and it presents a threat to constitutional democratic procedures and institutions. Populist...