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Please note, due to COVID, our room capacity is 40. Registrations will be monitored and once we reach capacity we will ask further registrants to attend virtually.

The event will be followed by tea/coffee & biscuits in the top floor atrium space outside the INET offices for those attending in person.

Populist upheavals like Trump, Brexit, and the Gilets Jaunes happen when the system really is rigged. Citizens the world over are angry not due to income inequality or immigration, but economic unfairness: the sense that opportunity is not equal and reward is not according to contribution.

This forensic book draws on original research, cited by the UN and IMF, to demonstrate that illiberal populism strikes hardest when success is influenced by family origins rather than talent and effort. Protzer and Summerville propose a framework of policy inputs that instead support high social mobility, and apply it to diagnose the differing reasons behind economic unfairness in the US, UK, Italy, and France. By striving for a fair, socially-mobile economy, they argue, it is possible to craft a politics that reclaims the reasonable grievances behind populism.

Reclaiming Populism is a must-read for policymakers, scholars, and citizens who want to bring disenchanted populist voters back into the fold of liberal democracy.

Eric Protzer is a Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Growth Lab. He has a master’s degree from MIT in Technology Policy. Eric’s work has been cited and featured by the UN, IMF, IADB, and Brookings, and he has advised governments such as those of Western Australia, Jordan, and Wyoming.

Paul Summerville (b 1957) graduated with a PhD in International Relations from the University of Tokyo (1988) and had a twenty year career (1988-2009) in finance. Paul ran for Parliament twice in Canada, co-founded the e-commerce firm LimeSpot (2013), and served on the Board of the Canada Revenue Agency (2018-2021). He is Adjunct Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of VIctoria, Canada.

Praise for Reclaiming Populism:

You think income inequality causes populism? Think again! Reclaiming Populism convincingly argues that the issue is not how unequal income is, it is the lack of social mobility. Unlike so many books on populism, the authors propose a policy agenda to guide action so that accidents of birth do not determine a person’s chances in life. Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
A deeply researched and trenchant examination of the economic forces that have led to populist movements in North America and Europe. Critically, the authors lay out how crucial it is for policymakers to create economic policies that are widely perceived by citizens as fair, stressing the vital importance of equality of opportunity for all. Bill Powell, Chief Washington Correspondent, Newsweek Magazine