The last global crisis paved their way to power. The question is whether the latest one will loosen their grip on it.
Fallout from the 2008 financial meltdown produced an electoral earthquake that upended postwar party politics, brought a new breed of populists to government and decisively shifted the balance among global powers toward China from the U.S. The new coronavirus may prove just as disruptive.
It’s too soon to predict which governments will suffer politically from their handling of the virus, as the death toll continues to grow and a quarter of the world’s population remains in lockdown. Whether responses to COVID-19 unmask or entrench such leaders as U.S. President Donald Trump, President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil or Italian opposition chief Matteo Salvini remains unclear.