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Economic Populism: A Transatlantic Perspective

Event Documents


Economic populism is on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have made protectionist arguments and appealed to voters who feel left behind by globalization. In Europe, left-wing groups like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain as well as far-right groups like France’s Front National, Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the UK Independence Party are capitalizing on the anti-globalization mood.

Manifestations of the current anti-trade and anti-globalization movements include opposition to trade initiatives like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as populist calls for an end to the austerity measures and economic reforms that were introduced in the wake of the euro crisis. There have been questions regarding whether capitalism can respond to the rise in inequality seen in many Western states. Many populists also share a distrust of those they perceive as elite policy-makers and a desire to reclaim national sovereignty from international institutions. Thus, the rise of populism could have far-reaching consequences for trade and economic policy-making and the existing trade and broader economic architectures.

The US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House and the German Marshall Fund of the United States in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung will convene an expert roundtable to provide insight and analysis geared towards examining key drivers behind the rise of economic populism, its implications for the international economic system, and possible ways to mitigate the effects of populism in the economic arena.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. 

The Chatham House Rule

To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.