LISTEN LIVE: Loading...



The power of populism: Its global reach, authoritarian danger and democratic promise

Story continues below

Subscribe to the podcast

    Populism is a defining force in American politics, and around the world.

    But what exactly is populism? Where does it come from, and where does it take us?

    WBUR's On Point brings you ‘The power of populism: Its global reach, authoritarian danger and democratic promise.’

    Over the course of five episodes, On Point explores populism’s origins and ongoing appeal both in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    Is populism a revolt of the haves or the left behind? Is it driven by resentment or by the pervasive insecurity of life in the 21st century? Is populism reactionary or progressive? Curse or cure?

    Listen: Trailer for 'The power of populism'

    Episode breakdown

    Episode 1. What makes a leader a populist? Debuts April 10.

    Episode 2. Populism in the world's largest democracy Debuts April 11. 

    Episode 3. Wisconsin and the politics of resentment Debuts April 12.

    Episode 4. Flipping the script on the urban-rural divide Debuts April 13.

    Episode 5. Can populism strengthen a democracy? Debuts April 14.

    How to listen


    • The week of April 10th, listen to an installment of 'The power of populism' on your local NPR station during On Point.
    • We also air live through our site at 10 a.m. ET here.
    • Find more ways to listen to On Point here.


    • Every afternoon, you’ll find the series in On Point’s podcast feed, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    About the host

    Meghna Chakrabarti is the award-winning host and editor of On Point. Based in Boston, she is on the air Monday through Friday.

    The Alliance for Women in Media has honored On Point with three Gracie Awards. In 2023 'An invisible epidemic,' a program about survivors of domestic violence, won in the Investigative Feature category, while 'Behind the decades-long fight to close the boyfriend loophole' won in the Public Affairs category.

    In 2022, On Point's episode "A Look Back at 1992 Los Angeles And America Since Rodney King" won a national Gracie Award for Best News Documentary. The Alliance for Women in Media also gave Meghna an honorable mention for best nationally syndicated non-commercial correspondent/host.

    On Point's episode on Los Angeles since Rodney King also won a 2022 regional Edward R. Murrow award for best news documentary. In 2021, On Point won a National Edward R. Murrow award for best news documentary for "What the President Knew." The show examined presidential decision-making before 9/11 and the COVID pandemic. In 2023, On Point's series Smarter health was given a first-place award by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

    Chakrabarti is the former host of Radio Boston, WBUR’s acclaimed weekday local show. She's the former host of Modern Love: The Podcast, a collaboration of WBUR and The New York Times (2016-2020) and was the primary fill-in host for Here & Now, NPR and WBUR's midday show. She reported on New England transportation and energy issues for WBUR’s news department.


    Listen Live