The temptations of populism

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Open to the public
This event is free - register below to attend
October 2019

Registration for this event is now closed. The event will be livestreamed and archived on our Youtube channel.

Andrés Velasco, dean of the LSE School of Public Policy, former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile, in discussion with Nur Laiq, Global South Visiting Fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). Professor Velasco will be welcomed by the Blavatnik School's dean, Ngaire Woods.

Populism is on the rise across the world. Politicians from Trump to Bolsonaro, and Orban to Modi hold popular mandates that enable them to wield substantial power. What does the global swing toward populism reveal about identity and inequality? What does it tell us about unresolved pasts and uncertain futures? What does it disclose about the language and structure of democratic politics?

Andrés Velasco was finance minister of Chile during the 2008 global financial crisis. He says he comes from a continent that invented populism. Yet, he is famous for not succumbing to it himself. Drawing on his political and policy experience, Professor Velasco, now the dean of the LSE School of Public Policy, will dismantle the myths of populism. He will offer a candid assessment of what drives contemporary populism, and how politicians and policy makers might respond to its challenges.

The talk will include a Q&A with the audience and will be moderated by Nur Laiq, Global South Visiting Fellow at TORCH. Nur Laiq is a public policy practitioner. She has sought to investigate the combustible power of identity and politics, based on her experience in the political and policy arena. Nur has worked on policy with political parties in India and Britain. She co-drafted the manifesto of a national party for the 2019 Indian general election, was a parliamentary researcher in the House of Commons, and campaigned for Obama in the primaries and presidential elections. She has worked in the UN Department of Political Affairs, Policy Planning Unit, New York, with a focus on sustaining peace – the idea that nations need to continuously invest in the fundamentals of inclusion and equality to keep war at bay. She has served on the UN Advisory Group on Youth, Peace and Security, appointed by the UN Secretary-General. Her publications include Talking to Arab Youth: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Egypt and Tunisia (New York: IPI, 2013) and The Search for Peace in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Oxford: OUP, 2014).