Global Populisms: A Threat to Democracy?


Date and Time

November 3, 2017 8:45 AM - November 4, 2017 1:00 AM


CISAC Central, 2nd Floor, Encina Hall at Stanford University, 616 Serra Street, Stanford, CA 94305

FSI Contact

Anya Shkurko



Conference Program


8:45-10:30  Panel 1: Populism as a Threat — Chaired by Anna Grzymala-Busse

  • Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College | Columbia University, "Populism Is a Symptom Rather Than a Cause: The Decline of the Center-life and Rise of Threats to Liberal Democracy"
  • John Carey, Professor of Government, Dartmouth College, "The People Versus the Elites: What Do They Value and How Much Do Their Judgments of Democracy Differ?”
  • Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute and Hoover Institution, Stanford University, "When Does Populism Become a Threat to Democracy?"
  • Niall Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, "The Cultural Dimensions of Populism”
  • Rick Perlstein, Journalist and bestselling author, "Why Populism Should Not Be an Epithet."

— 10:30-10:45: Coffee break —

10:45-12:30  Panel 2: American Populism — Chaired by Didi Kuo

  • Julia Azari, Associate Professor of Political Science, Marquette University, "Populism, Polarization and American Political Parties” 
  • David Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University, “The Paradoxes of American Populism”
  • Kirk Hawkins, Associate Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University, "Populism in Comparative Perspective: America and the 2016 Presidential Election”
  • Rob Mickey, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, “Anti-anti Populism, or: The Threat of Populism to U.S. Democracy Is Exaggerated”
  • Rick Valelly, Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College, “The Populist Scare of the 1890s -- And the Aftermath that Changed American Populism"

— 12:30-1:30: Lunch —

1:30-3:15  Panel 3: Comparative Perspectives  — Chaired by Matthias Matthijs

  • Anna Grzymala-Busse, Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies and Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, “Populist or Authoritarian: The Erosion of Democracy in Poland and Hungary”
  • Steve Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University, “Populism and Competitive Authoritarianism in Latin America”
  • Kenneth Roberts, Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government, Cornell University, "Bipolar Disorders: Partisan Alignments and Populist Out-flanking in the Post-liberal Order”
  • Milada Vachudova: Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, "From Competition to Polarization: How Populists Change Party Systems to Concentrate Power”
  • Julie Lynch, University of Pennsylvania, “Populism, Partisan Convergence, and Redistribution in Western Europe”

— 3:15-3:30: Coffee break —

3:30-5:00  Panel 4: International Linkages  — Chaired by Michael McFaul

  • Valerie Bunce, Aaron Binenkorb Professor of International Studies and Professor of Government, Cornell University, "The Putin Regime, Populism Promotion, and the 2016 US Presidential Election"
  • Francis Fukuyama, Olivier-Nomellini Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University "Immigration and Citizenship as Factors in the Rise of Populism"
  • Kathleen McNamara, Professor of Government and Foreign Service, Georgetown University, "When the Banal Becomes Political: the EU in the Age of Populism”
  • Kathryn Stoner, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute and Hoover Institution, Stanford University, "Is Putin a Populist and Why Does It Matter?”
  • Lucan Way, Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, "Is Russia a Threat to Western Democracy?"



 9:00-11:00  Panel 5: Inequality, Investment and Economic Strain — Chaired by Francis Fukuyama

  • Kathy Cramer, Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin — Madison, "The Views of Populists: What Trump Voters’ Perspectives and Perceptions of Trump Voters Tell Us about the Threat of Populism to U.S. Democracy"
  • Didi Kuo, Research Scholar, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University, “Parties and Policy Convergence”
  • Margaret Levi, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, "Populism and the Decline of Labor Unions”
  • Pia Malaney, Senior Economist, Institute for New Economic Thinking"Economic Nationalism as a Driving Force of Populism in the U.S.”
  • Kenneth Scheve, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University "The Economic Origins of Authoritarian Values: Evidence from Local Trade Shocks in the United Kingdom”

— 11-1 pm Lunch and concluding discussion —