Populism is gaining traction almost as fast as talking about populism - but is ‘populism’ a useful concept for discussion, and how? In this masterclass renowned Berkeley economist and political scientist Barry Eichengreen will actively engage his audience about the usefulness of the concept, its US and European incarnations and their roots in the economy. SPUI25 and Athenaeum cordially invite you to join Eichengreen for a masterclass and debate.
In The Populist Temptation, Barry Eichengreen focuses on the global resurgence of populism today and places it in a deep context. In the last few years, populism — of the right, left, and center varieties — has spread like wildfire throughout the world. The impulse reached its apogee in the United States with the election of Trump, but it was a force in Europe ever since the Great Recession sent the European economy into a prolonged tailspin. In the simplest terms, populism is a political ideology that vilifies economic and political elites and instead lionizes ‘the people’. The people, populists of all stripes contend, need to retake power from the unaccountable elites who have left them powerless. And typically, populists’ distrust of elites shades into a catchall distrust of trained experts because of their perceived distance from and contempt for ‘the people’. Another signature element of populist movements is faith in a savior who can not only speak directly to the people, but also serve as a vessel for the plain people’s hopes and dreams.
About the speakers
Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous books include Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System, The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond and Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939.
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