The temptations of populism

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 co-drafted the manifesto of a leading political party in India for the 2019 elections and has also worked for a British political party and campaigned for Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.