Development Centre

DevTalks - Populism: from its origins to its impact on democracy



Thursday, 16 January 2020, 14.30-16.00 – OECD Headquarters – room E

Within the OECD Development Centre "DEV TALKS" Series

Mario Pezzini, Director of the Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development, is pleased to invite you to a discussion on:

Populism: from its origins to its impact on democracy

With Daniel Cohen, Director of the Economics Department of the École normale supérieure

The rise of populism in recent years has been extensively analysed, with a focus on the ways in which it will affect the future of democracy. This phenomenon has also brought to light the absence of an effective democratic debate. The latter has contributed to the success of those who claim to represent people whose rights have been "confiscated by the political elite".

Daniel Cohen and co-authors Yann Algan, Elizabeth Beasley and Martial Foucault, outline two major upheavals at the origin of populism, in the book of the same name. On one hand, the rising resentment against political parties and institutions - due to the failure of the right and left to curb the excesses of capitalism - ultimately breaking down the compromises built by both sides. On the other, the end of a class society giving way to a society of individuals with subjective perceptions of their status. Right-wing populism has emerged at the crossroads of double distrust: towards political institutions and towards society. It thrives on democratic disenchantment, while renewing the left-right divide.

Professor Cohen joins us to discuss the roots of this political and social divide, as well as its most significant implications, including for the economic development of states. He has published numerous books, including more recently "Il faut dire que les temps ont changé... : Chronique (fiévreuse) d'une mutation qui inquiète", "The Infinite Desire for Growth" and "Homo economicus".



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