Salvatori Center to discuss populism challenges at campus conference

Academic experts from across the country will be on campus Friday to discuss populism at a conference hosted by the Salvatori Center. “The Populist Challenge,” a set of three panels with professors discussing a range of political approaches, takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Freeberg Forum at the Kravis Center.

“Populism has become an unexpected force in mature liberal democracies in the last few years. It is viewed with both promise and peril. This conference brings together prominent scholars from a range of perspectives to explore the populist challenge,” said George Thomas, director of the Salvatori Center and Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions.

“Is it a legitimate expression of popular will? Is it a result of political decay? A challenge to the future of liberal democracy? We hope to engage CMC students and faculty on one of the most pressing public issues of our times.”

The line-up includes:

Why Populism Now?
10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Bernard Yack, Brandeis
Sara Wallace Goodman, UC Irvine
Jeffrey Friedman, UC Berkeley
Chair: Aseema Sinha, CMC

Populism, Democracy, Representation
1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

Paulina Ochoa Espajo, Haverford
Ronald Beiner, University of Toronto
Jeremy Bailey, University of Houston
Jon Shields, CMC
Chair: Zach Courser, CMC

Populism and the Future of Liberal Democracy
3 to 4:15 p.m.

Hilary Appel, CMC
Yascha Mounk, Harvard
Will Barndt, Pitzer
Chair: Emily Pears, CMC

Anyone who attends the first two panels can join an informal lunch from noon to 1 p.m. However, please RSVP at For more information, visit the Salvatori Center online.