In the upcoming conference, “Global Populisms: A Threat to Democracy?” we will focus on the following critical issues:
Conceptualizing the threat. How much of a threat to democracy is populism? Where, when, and how? What is the nature of this threat, and how can it be stopped? How do we conceive of populism, and how useful have these conceptualizations been?
How do populisms arise and succeed? What are the historical and comparative perspectives on the recent rise of populism? What are the different factors that produced populism in each setting? Equally importantly, why have populist parties arisen in some countries but not others?
Populism in America. The United States has had a long history of populist rhetoric, populist movements, and populist entrepreneurs. How unique is it? A historical perspective here is critical in two ways: first, it helps us to identify useful historical analogies. Second, it emphasizes the study of the societal, economic, and political mechanisms and processes that together make for a coherent narrative of the rise of illiberal threats.
Is there a “populist international”? To what extent do we see international linkages, whether emanating from Russia or from regional coordination, in the recent rise of populism? The emergence of an “illiberal international” anchored in Moscow appears to have won many allies throughout Europe and the United States, yet the connections between these politicians and parties are not clear. Do these movements share a common ideology, or are their affinities superficial and ephemeral?
Constructing economic threats. What is the role of the changing labor markets? How are fiscal and economic problems constructed politically, and by whom? How does immigration, technology, shifts in industrial production, and international trade contribute to the rise of populism? How does the EU or other regional organizations contribute to the rise of populism or hamper its growth?
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3
8:45-10:30 Panel 1: Populism as a Threat — Chaired by Anna Grzymala-Busse
— 10:30-10:45: Coffee break —
10:45-12:30 Panel 2: American Populism — Chaired by Didi Kuo
— 12:30-1:30: Lunch —
1:30-3:15 Panel 3: Comparative Perspectives — Chaired by Matthias Matthijs
— 3:15-3:30: Coffee break —
3:30-5:00 Panel 4: International Linkages — Chaired by Michael McFaul
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4
9:00-11:00 Panel 5: Inequality, Investment and Economic Strain — Chaired by Francis Fukuyama
— 11-1 pm Lunch and concluding discussion —
Use the following links to access to conference memos:
The conference will take place in the 2nd floor conference room of Encina Hall at Stanford University.