Social and economic origins of populism

Nov
11
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

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Press

  • Die Grünen dürfen jetzt nicht überschnappen Tagesanzeiger vom 23.11.2019 lesen

  • Global Risk-Briefing: Der Populismus ist nicht nur eine Generationenfrage NZZ vom 14.11.2019 lesen

  • Der Wähler von Populisten ist oft ein Verlierer – und der Populist ebenso NZZ vom 14.11.2019 lesen

  • David Dorn über die Wurzeln des Populismus SRF vom 12.11.2019 | Tagesgespräch hören

  • Wurzeln des Populismus Finanz und Wirtschaft vom 10.10.2019 | Meinungsartikel von Joachim Voth lesen

Intro

Populism is more than a political buzzword – it is a topic of highest sociopolitical relevance as it will form our society for years to come. Europe’s radical right parties are using anti-immigrant and anti-establishment messages to claim to represent the „will of the people“; these messages are resurging in the US, Australia, Israel, Japan, and in other countries around the world. On the other side of the political spectrum, left-wing populists are following their own agenda – such as the Podemos movement in Spain or the left-wing populist governments in Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

But what is populism, what are the challenges and how does it threaten democracy and liberty? To understand this multifaceted phenomenon, we need to dig deeper. Can we explain today’s rise of populism with economic grievances or does it have its roots in a cultural backlash against liberalism and immigration? What are the economic consequences of populism: progress, stagnation, or regression? How should we act on the challenges related to the rise of populism? These questions took center stage at this year’s forum, where leading scholars and politicians discussed new insights on how to deal with this multidimensional phenomenon.

This was a public event. Entrance was free, but registration was required.

  • Twitter thread Keynote lecture with Torsten Persson read
  • Twitter thread Disputation with Kishwer Falkner and Yanis Varoufakis read
  • Twitter thread Keynote lecture with Joschka Fischer read
  • Twitter thread Panel discussion with Barry Eichengreen, Matthew Goodwin and Elias Papaioannou read
  • Twitter thread Panel discussion with Luigi Guiso, Cornelia Koppetsch and Moisés Naím read

Populism is more than a political buzzword – it is a topic of highest sociopolitical relevance as it will form our society for years to come. Europe’s radical right parties are using anti-immigrant and anti-establishment messages to claim to represent the „will of the people“; these messages are resurging in the US, Australia, Israel, Japan, and in other countries around the world. On the other side of the political spectrum, left-wing populists are following their own agenda – such as the Podemos movement in Spain or the left-wing populist governments in Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

But what is populism, what are the challenges and how does it threaten democracy and liberty? To understand this multifaceted phenomenon, we need to dig deeper. Can we explain today’s rise of populism with economic grievances or does it have its roots in a cultural backlash against liberalism and immigration? What are the economic consequences of populism: progress, stagnation, or regression? How should we act on the challenges related to the rise of populism? These questions took center stage at this year’s forum, where leading scholars and politicians discussed new insights on how to deal with this multidimensional phenomenon.

The lively disputation with Kishwer Falkner and Yanis Varoufakis
The lively disputation with Kishwer Falkner and Yanis Varoufakis

Program

Speakers

George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Prof. Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. In 1997/98 he was Senior Policy Advisor at the International Monetary Fund. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his latest book The Populist Temptation, Barry Eichengreen contextualizes the recent resurgence of populism and explores possible responses to the concerns populists raise. He is a regular monthly columnist for Project Syndicate and is also the recipient of a doctor honoris causa from the American University in Paris.

Baroness Falkner of Margravine, Member of the House of Lords
Kishwer Falkner

Kishwer Falkner is a non-aligned Member of the House of Lords, which she joined in 2004. She has been Chairman of a select committee on EU Financial Affairs (2015–2019) and Vice President of Liberal International (2013–2017). She is a member of the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee, a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, and a Commissioner on the LSE’s Economic Diplomacy Commission. Kishwer holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Kent. She has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She was Chancellor of the University of Northampton from 2008 to 2016. Her interests cover international affairs, economics and finance, and security policy.

Former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany
Joschka Fischer

The former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (1998–2005) led the Green Party in its first participation in government, both at the state (Hessen) and federal levels. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Fischer held a professorship at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University (US). Mr. Fischer is a founding partner of Joschka Fischer and Company.

Axa Professor of Economics at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance
Prof. Luigi Guiso

Luigi Guiso is the Axa Professor of Economics at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance. He has directed the Finance Programme at CEPR of which he is still a fellow. He has held teaching positions at the University of Rome, the European University Institute, the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. He is a recipient of several publishing awards. Luigi Guiso has broad research interests. Besides his work in the field of households finance, he has contributed research in the field of labor economics, firms’ investment and financial decisions, entrepreneurship and banking, political economy and institutions, and in the field of culture and economics.

Professor of Politics at Rutherford College, University of Kent
Prof. Matthew Goodwin

Matthew Goodwin is a bestseller writer, and speaker known for his work on political volatility, risk, populism, British politics, Europe, elections, and Brexit. He is Professor of Politics at Rutherford College, University of Kent, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, and previously Senior Fellow with the UK in a Changing Europe. Matthew is the author of six books, including the 2018 Sunday Times bestseller National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Matthew engages widely with business, policy and media communities. He has consulted more than 300 organizations around the globe, from the UK Prime Minister’s Office to the President of Germany, U.S. State Department, and the European Commission. Matthew regularly interviews politicians, activists and campaigners from across the spectrum and appears in international media himself.

Professor of Sociology at the Technische Universität Darmstadt
Prof. Cornelia Koppetsch

Cornelia Koppetsch is Professor of Sociology at the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt. Previously she held academic positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Jena and the HU Berlin. Her research focuses on social inequality, gender relations in relationships, biographical research, and the rise of the new right-wing parties. In her most recent book Die Gesellschaft des Zorns she explains right-wing populism as a protest against material and immaterial loss of status.

Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and bestselling author
Dr. Moisés Naím

Moisés Naím is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an internationally syndicated columnist, and the host and producer of Efecto Naím, an Emmy award-winning weekly television program on international affairs that airs throughout the Americas. Naím was the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine for 14 years and is the author of many scholarly articles and 12 books on international economics and politics. His most recent book, Dos Espías en Caracas, was released last fall. Moisés Naím has been called “one of the world’s leading thinkers” (Prospect Magazine) and has been ranked among the top 100 global thought leaders by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute of Switzerland. He has served as Venezuela’s minister of trade and industry, director of Venezuela’s Central Bank, and executive director of the World Bank. Dr. Naím holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include the surprises of globalization, international politics and economics.

Professor of Economics at the London Business School
Prof. Elias Papaioannou

Elias Papaioannou is a Professor of Economics at the London Business School, where he serves as the academic co-director of the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development. He is currently the Varian Visiting Professor at MIT’s Economics Department. He is also a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Previously he worked at the Financial Research Department of the European Central Bank, as Assistant Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, and as Visiting Assistant Professor at Harvard University’s Department of Economics. His research covers international finance, political economy, law and finance, economic history, and growth and development. He was the 2013 European Investment Bank Young Economist laureate. His research has been recognized with the 2005 Young Economist Award by the European Economic Association and the 2008 Austin Robinson memorial prize by the Royal Economic Association.

Swedish Research Council Distinguished Professor, Stockholm University
Prof. Torsten Persson

Torsten Persson is Swedish Research Council Distinguished Professor at Stockholm University, Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and has held visiting positions at leading universities including Harvard, Princeton, and Berkeley. He was President of the Econometric Society in 2008 and President of the European Economic Association in 2003. Persson’s scientific prizes include the 1997 Yrjö Jahnsson Medal, given biannually to “the best young economist in Europe,” and the 2018 CESifo Distinguished Fellowship. His research has spanned macroeconomics, international economics, and public economics, but Persson is most well known for his articles and books on political economics. His current research focuses on political selection and on the two-way interplay between institutions and culture.

Economist and former Minister of Finance of Greece
Prof. Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis is an economist and politician. He served as Minister of Finance of Greece in 2015. Varoufakis held academic positions at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Athens, and the University of Sydney. From 2004 to 2006, Varoufakis served as economic advisor to George Papandreou, then leader of the opposition. In 2012 Varoufakis became Economist-in-Residence at Valve Corporation. He researched the virtual economy on the Steam digital delivery platform, specifically looking at exchange rates and trade deficits. Varoufakis studied economics in the UK. He has written several books on game theory, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

UBS Foundation Professor of Globalization and Labor Markets

David Dorn received his doctorate from the University of St. Gallen in 2009. His work studies the impact of globalization and automation on the labor market and society. He showed that rapidly rising import competition from China had more profound impacts on the U.S. labor market than was previously assumed. The relative decline of employment and wages in trade-exposed locations is also associated with falling marriage rates, rising drug mortality, and increased electoral support for politicians with non-moderate ideologies. In other work, he studies how the automation of routine labor and the rise of superstar firms have contributed to various facets of inequality. David’s work has been cited in thousands of academic papers and hundreds of newspaper articles.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ)
Dr. Martin Meyer

Martin Meyer is a Swiss journalist, publicist, essayist and author. In 1974 he started his career at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung as editor for the Feuilleton, and became editor-in-chief of the Feuilleton in 1992. In addition to his work as a journalist Martin Meyer has written and published several books, among others about Ernst Jünger, Thomas Mann, Switzerland and Europe, Ende der Geschichte? and the debates about Krieg der Werte. Recently, he published a biography about Albert Camus. Meyer is corresponding member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and received an honorary PhD of the University of St. Gallen.

Professor of Development and Emerging Markets, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center

David Yanagizawa-Drott received his PhD from IIES at Stockholm University in 2010. At that point, he was hired as Assistant Professor at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was then promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. In 2016, he was hired as a full professor at University of Zürich. His research has shown that propaganda can cause violent conflict, studying the impact of hate media during the Rwanda Genocide. David has also examined the role of political protests in shaping policy outcomes and elections, establishing evidence that they can be highly effective in moving public opinion. In developing countries, a lot of his work focuses on the how to improve health outcomes and economic outcomes for poor households. In this line of work, for example, David implemented a randomized field experiment that showed that a simple Community Health Worker intervention in Uganda, based on a social entrepreneurship model, reduced child mortality by more than twenty percent. David is a member of several research networks, such as Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), European Development Research Network (EUDN) and Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). His work has been highlighted in various international media outlets, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Economist and various national TV news broadcasts in the U.S.

Professor of Economics, Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center

Ernst Fehr received his doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1986. His work has shown how social motives shape the cooperation, negotiations and coordination among actors and how this affects the functioning of incentives, markets and organisations. His work identifies important conditions under which cooperation flourishes and breaks down. The work on the psychological foundations of incentives informs us about the merits and the limits of financial incentives for the compensation of employees. In other work he has shown the importance of corporate culture for the performance of firms. In more recent work he shows how social motives affect how people vote on issues related to the redistribution of incomes and how differences in people’s intrinsic patience is related to wealth inequality. His work has found large resonance inside and outside academia with more than 100’000 Google Scholar citations and his work has been mentioned many times in international and national newspapers.

UBS Foundation Professor of Macroeconomics and Financial Markets

Joachim Voth received his PhD from Oxford in 1996. He works on financial crises, long-run growth, as well as on the origins of political extremism. He has examined public debt dynamics and bank lending to the first serial defaulter in history, analysed risk-taking behaviour by lenders as a result of personal shocks, and the investor performance during speculative bubbles. Joachim has also examined the deep historical roots of anti-Semitism, showing that the same cities where pogroms occurred in the Middle Age also persecuted Jews more in the 1930s; he has analyzed the extent to which schooling can create radical racial stereotypes over the long run, and how dense social networks (“social capital”) facilitated the spread of the Nazi party. In his work on long-run growth, he has investigated the effects of fertility restriction, the role of warfare, and the importance of state capacity. Joachim has published more than 80 academic articles and 3 academic books, 5 trade books and more than 50 newspaper columns, op-eds and book reviews. His research has been highlighted in The Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, El Pais, Vanguardia, La Repubblica, the Frankfurter Allgemeine, NZZ, der Standard, der Spiegel, CNN, RTN, Swiss and German TV and radio.

George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Prof. Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. In 1997/98 he was Senior Policy Advisor at the International Monetary Fund. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his latest book The Populist Temptation, Barry Eichengreen contextualizes the recent resurgence of populism and explores possible responses to the concerns populists raise. He is a regular monthly columnist for Project Syndicate and is also the recipient of a doctor honoris causa from the American University in Paris.

Baroness Falkner of Margravine, Member of the House of Lords
Kishwer Falkner

Kishwer Falkner is a non-aligned Member of the House of Lords, which she joined in 2004. She has been Chairman of a select committee on EU Financial Affairs (2015–2019) and Vice President of Liberal International (2013–2017). She is a member of the Bank of England’s Enforcement Decision Making Committee, a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, and a Commissioner on the LSE’s Economic Diplomacy Commission. Kishwer holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Kent. She has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She was Chancellor of the University of Northampton from 2008 to 2016. Her interests cover international affairs, economics and finance, and security policy.

Former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany
Joschka Fischer

The former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (1998–2005) led the Green Party in its first participation in government, both at the state (Hessen) and federal levels. From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Fischer held a professorship at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University (US). Mr. Fischer is a founding partner of Joschka Fischer and Company.

Axa Professor of Economics at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance
Prof. Luigi Guiso

Luigi Guiso is the Axa Professor of Economics at the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance. He has directed the Finance Programme at CEPR of which he is still a fellow. He has held teaching positions at the University of Rome, the European University Institute, the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. He is a recipient of several publishing awards. Luigi Guiso has broad research interests. Besides his work in the field of households finance, he has contributed research in the field of labor economics, firms’ investment and financial decisions, entrepreneurship and banking, political economy and institutions, and in the field of culture and economics.

Venue

Kaufleuten

Pelikanplatz 18, 8001 Zürich
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