Keywords: Redistribution; Fiscal Policy; International Monetary Fund; World Bank; European Union.
When did populism become a keyword in European public debate? What is the meaning that the word acquires when it is used by European politicians and technocrats? The author investigates the economistic definition of populism adopted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund over the last three decades and discusses its impact on European politics during and after the European debt crisis. The research shows that populism has gradually turned into a synonym of redistribution, in Europe and elsewhere, but there is no agreement among international organizations as to how to manage increasing economic inequalities and populist upheavals that result from neoliberal policies.