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GPPN: Thinking Public Policy Webinar Series

Global Public Policy Network
Group Calls
Populism and Global Unrest: How Nations Adjust
featuring the Deans of LKYSPP, LSE and SIPA

25 Jan 2022
7.30am New York | 9.30am São Paulo | 12.30pm London | 1.30pm Paris/Berlin 
8.30pm Singapore | 9.30pm Tokyo

Even before the pandemic, a tidal wave of populism was already rising around the world. Covid did not quell this surge – instead, the ensuing economic hardships and inequalities further sharpened social divides and deepened the distrust. The emergence of populist nationalist movements inspired greater scepticism towards globalisation and the value of international institutions, preferring sovereignty and national identity over global and regional cooperation.


History has shown that epidemics can be “incubators of social unrest". Indeed, in the last two years, masses of people have defied lockdowns and risked personal health and safety to march on the streets, join mass protests and find new ways to express their discontent. Many of their clarion calls were for restrictions on free trade, immigration and multilateralism. Conflict, social tension, and protest movements forced to pause during the pandemic are now teeming and re-emerging, as societies open up and social life resumes.   


As countries reopen their borders and seek to revive their economies, the recovery too will be uneven, both within and across national borders. What populist movements will this spark, and how are they likely to play out? What impact will this have on international security relations and foreign policy? Is the future bleak for international institutions? Is global unrest the next ticking time bomb, and what can nations do about it?


Join the Deans of the world’s top public policy schools as they discuss these issues from their vantage points in Asia, Europe and the Americas.


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Danny Quah

Danny Quah is Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics and Dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. His research on inequality and income mobility characterises the range of experiences across economies to suggest that a single narrative on inequality is unlikely to be correct or helpful. His work on world order takes an economic approach to international systems, studying the supply and demand of world order: what international system do the world’s superpowers wish to provide; what world order does the global community need?


Quah is a Commissioner on the Spence-Stiglitz Commission on Global Economic Transformation and serves on the Executive Committee, International Economic Association; the Advisory Board, LSE IDEAS; the Eminent Advisory Council of the UNDP Bureau for Asia-Pacific; and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council for Geopolitics.


He is the author of “The Global Economy’s Shifting Centre of Gravity”.


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Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Professor of Public Policy and Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Chile from 2006 to 2020. He has held academic posts at Harvard, MIT and Columbia University. In 2017-18 he was a member of the G20 Eminent Persons Group. During 2015-16 he co-chaired the Global Panel on the Future of the Multilateral Lending Institutions. In 2013-16 he was a member of the Global Oceans Commission.

Andrés Velasco


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Thomas J. Christensen

Thomas J. Christensen is James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations and Director of the China and the World program in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (SIPA). Beginning in January 2022, he will be Interim Dean of SIPA.  From 2006 to 2008, he served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, and Mongolia.  He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and editor of the Nancy B. Tucker and Warren I. Cohen book series on the United States in Asia at the Columbia University Press.  He received a Distinguished Public Service Award from the United States Department of State.

His research and teaching focuses on China’s foreign relations, the international relations of East Asia, and international security. Previously, he taught at Princeton University, MIT, and Cornell University. He received his bachelor’s from Haverford College, his master’s in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in political science from Columbia University.


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Dr. Marina Kaneti is Assistant Professor at the LKY School of Public Policy. She specializes in questions of global development, including the Chinese Belt and Road, migration, and environmental governance. 

Marina Jose Kaneti

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