The democratic gains that were won since the fall of the wall 30 years ago increasingly make room for an exclusionary populism that is nativist, nationalist, and racist is gaining ground and undermining democracy worldwide. It gives rise to demagogues who prey on fear, sow division and offer themselves and simplistic solutions to address complex problems. Contemporary populism delegitimates international institutions and breeds distrust in domestic institutions including the free press. Leaders sustain crises to consolidate personal power and democratic norms and freedoms fall by the wayside.
What are the ramifications of these developments for societal as well as global peace and security? Will we repeat history and descend into a great war? Are the attitudes and institutions associated with great power stability for 70 years still viable? If so, how can these be preserved, while addressing the concerns and fears of those attracted to and swayed by populist rhetoric and action? These are among the questions the authors of this issue, which was edited by Volker Franke und Karen Guttieri seek to answer.