Professor Paganini's Article on Populism

On July 15, 2016, Business Administration Professor Pietro Paganini published an article in the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa entitled: “L’incertezza fa crescere i populismi” (“Uncertainty fuels populism”). In the article, Paganini explores the causes that have led to the recent rise of populism in Europe and worldwide. As socio-economic inequalities deepen and the middle classes become increasingly impoverished, populists prey on popular discontent, promising certainties by mystifying reality.

To exacerbate the matter, Paganini notes, it has now become nearly impossible to make accurate economic predictions. Globalization has made markets and economies so interconnected that single, apparently insignificant events on one side of the world can have a considerable impact on the other. This “butterfly effect” is magnified by ever-developing technologies that allow for immediate, albeit often superficial, communication. The third factor is Finance, which influences the real economy while being in many ways disconnected from it. Finance, Paganini argues, “guides economic choices without reflecting their value.”

Paganini ends the article by proposing two solutions to generate new economic growth: the development of new long-term strategies, granted the capacity to make safe predictions, and patience. The latter is necessary for both those who prioritize fast earnings and those who are in economic predicaments and need to regain hope.