Populism

Corruption anxiety

Illustration of U.S. map as a rug with cockroaches crawling out
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Dayo Olopade, a Nigerian-American journalist and technologist living in London, used the term "corruption anxiety" to describe "the knowledge that society can be and has been manipulated to favor the powerful, at your expense" in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the sentiment that drove the Arab Spring, but it's not confined to developing countries. The Tea Party, Occupy, the Brexiteers, the Yellow Vests, even Donald "stop this corrupt machine" Trump — all of them feed from a well of broad-based corruption anxiety. As Olopade puts it: "Corruption anxiety unifies the populist left and the populist right."

Thailand: Generals vs. populists at the polls

Thailand Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Thailand’s election season has featured generals, populists, royals — and a wildly uneven playing field.

The big picture: The ruling military junta, led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, overthrew a democratically elected government in 2014. The generals will try their luck at the polls on Sunday, albeit after bringing in a new constitution that means they’re likely to win even if they lose.

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