Renzi, who served as prime minister of Italy from Feb. 2014 to Dec. 2016, has taught courses on European leaders’ challenges at Stanford’s Florence campus in the fall quarters of 2017 and 2018.
On Tuesday, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) hosted “Populist Challenges to Democracy,” its first of three public symposia. The symposium panelists discussed reasons for the growth of populism around the world and emphasized the importance of institutional accountability.
30 white male historians made up the body of speakers at the Applied History conference at Stanford earlier this month, stirring controversy regarding the event’s lack of diversity.
Controversial social scientist Charles Murray and Freeman Spogli Institute senior fellow Francis Fukuyama discussed inequality and populism at the Hoover Institute on Thursday night in the second of four Cardinal Conversations, a program that aims to promote open political discourse on campus.
The event had visibly low attendance, with most of the back segment — around 100 seats — of the 400-person auditorium unfilled. Towards the front of the room, multiple reserved seats were left empty, as were several in the first row.
Meanwhile, across the street at the History Corner, “Take Back The Mic” counter-programming protested Murray and statements he has made regarding the relationship between class, race and intelligence.
Consigning a large group of leaders who come from diverse political, social, and cultural contexts to a single populist movement is an easy way to ignore the very real nuances that apply to any political campaign.
While popular attention often focuses on glaring factual inaccuracies, fake news or Trump’s tirades towards the media, I fear these are merely symptoms of a broader shift in attitude. Specifically, as others have already written, and as witnessed both through political rhetoric and polling, the populism that has fueled recent electoral victories centers on a marked distrust of “experts.”
From Brexit to the rise of Marine Le Pen in France to Donald Trump’s election, the rise of populist movements has been at the center of international news in the past year. Stanford professors Francis Fukuyama and Josiah Ober say that technocrats’ mistakes in the past have led to the rise of populist movements.