Donald Trump didn’t invent populism, but he has become its global standard-bearer. Candidates in elections around the world are already being measured against the American businessman’s forceful rhetoric and willingness to play crowds against establishment norms, to such an extent that “the Donald Trump of” whatever country has become a trope of foreign-affairs reporting. Here are five candidates riding the anti-establishment wave—including some who were tormenting status quo politicians before Trump was even a glimmer in Reince Priebus’s eye.
5. Pakistan’s Imran Khan. Khan would probably hate the claim, made by an editorialist, that he is “Pakistan’s Donald Trump.” It wasn’t meant nicely. Khan, the leader of Pakistan’s third-largest political party, wants to bring the welfare state to Pakistan and has denounced Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiments as “absurd and ill-informed.” But the two share some character traits, in particular, a willingness to wield celebrity-based political power as a cudgel against more-traditional politicians. Khan this week threatened to shut down the capital unless the government investigated corruption allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The threat had to be taken seriously given the months of disruptive protests Khan led in 2014. For now, he is unlikely to effect significant change—he backed off the threat after the Supreme Court moved forward with an investigation—but Pakistan’s political future is murky. Sharif is in poor health and has no obvious heir, beyond his daughter, who does not hold elected office. The military is in a moment of tension with civilian authorities. When elections come, by 2018 at the latest, Khan can’t be counted out.