Politics in the West has become unpredictable and tumultuous. In recent years, voters have deserted the political centre like never before. Whether it's Trump, Brexit, Le Pen, Tsipras, or even Corbyn, why have outsiders and populists flourished on far left and far right? Why is the political landscape shifting so rapidly?
In this landmark book, celebrated political commentator Steve Richards provides a clear and penetrating analysis of the biggest political story of the past fifty years. He argues that despite charismatic outsiders dominating the headlines, the real answers lie in the failure of the mainstream to evolve in a world still suffering the fallout of the financial crash in 2008. Exploring factors from globalization and a changing media to rising immigration and stagnant wages, he reveals just why confidence in conventional politics is at an all-time low - and why many voters (wrongly) see mainstream politicians as self-interested and aloof.
And what of the outsiders themselves? Analysing their record so far, Richards argues that the reasons for their success also sow the seeds of their eventual demise. If they do gain power, they inevitably become insiders themselves - and fail to live up to their outlandish promises. But with the world increasingly unstable in the meantime, Richards warns that there is an urgent need for conventional politicians to reconnect with voters and for the electorate to engage with the constraints on elected politicians.
Intelligent, nuanced and wide-ranging, this is the essential handbook for understanding the chaotic political times in which we live.
There is no more insightful observer of the British scene than this reasoned pundit... [Richards] brilliantly nails it. * Observer * Richards offers valuable insights into how awkward political power really is. * Guardian * Excellent... An important and insightful account of the current rise of populism amid the collapse of trust in both conventional politics and politicians. * Jon Snow - Newsreader, Channel Four News * Steve Richards is quite simply one of the best in the business. * John Kampfner * Easily one of our best commentators. * David Aaronovitch * Steve Richards is a fine columnist and thoughtful political commentator.This book gets to the heart of why conventional politicians and parties are struggling and failing to adapt to the challenge of the outsiders, opening the door to Trump, the Brexiteers and European movements of far left and right. * Vince Cable - former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills * Insightful and well researched... The Rise of the Outsiders is both a stinging rebuke to established parties of left and right, but also a clarion call to mainstream politicians to call-out empty populism and make anew the case for sane government. * Ed Balls -- former Shadow Chancellor to the Exchequer * Incisive and urgent... This needs to be read by anyone trying to understand the nature of the current political system in Western democracies. * Alasdair Blair - Jean Monnet Professor of International Relations, De Montfort University, Leicester * An important book about the social forces behind the disruptive challenges to mainstream politics and the future of representative political parties. * Baron David Willetts - Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation * Fascinating... an unusual book by one of our best political commentators * Tribune magazine *