Pabst, Adrian. “Beyond Binaries: Technocracy, Populism And Public Policy.” National Institute Economic Review 259 (2022): 67-80.
Populism is a paradoxical phenomenon that resists easy categorisation because it both rejects and intensifies certain elements of technocracy. Populist politics is at once a backlash against liberal-technocratic ideology and policy and an attempted corrective of some of its worst excesses, such as increasing inequality or pressures on wages. Despite deep differences, both rest on a binary logic that conceals alternatives to the convergence around variants of techno-populism defended by either ‘corporate populists’ or ‘insurgent populists’. One alternative is a public policy programme focused on the building of an economic democracy with more democratic workplaces and a greater emphasis on the dignity of decent jobs, besides policies to reduce regional disparities and foster shared prosperity. But policies alone cannot fully address the deep-seated grievances fuelling the support for populists. Fundamental institutional reform is needed to devolve power and wealth to people and the places where they live and work.