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16/05/2019 15:10:00

Waiting for populism? Problems of interpretation and policy implications Four lectures and a Conversation

Seventy five guests attended Waiting for populism? Problems of interpretation and policy implications    Four lectures and a conversation. They were addressed by authoritative speakers from Britain, Finland, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands. The central banks of Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain showed a keen interest in the event.

The lectures spanned a broad spectrum of analytical approaches. The audience was confronted with a multidisciplinary panorama that provided facts as well as critical insights. Dr Olli Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland, former European Commissioner and Finnish Minister of the Economy, discussed the underlying drivers of the rise of populism in the light of his country's experience.

Economist Professor Donato Masciandaro of Bocconi University, Milan, discussed the relationships between populism, economic policy design and central bank independence. Sociologist Professor Emeritus Nico Wilterdink of the University of Amsterdam, argued that changes in socio-economic inequality combined with ongoing tendencies in globalisation and Europeanisation have contributed to the appeal and success of populism.

Political theorist Professor Jason Glynos, Essex University, UK, who harnesses critical insights from Lacanian psychoanalysis to study political discourse, including political fantasies, discussed the role of populism studies as enablers to draw out the normative ideological and political stakes of both populist discourses and discourses about populism.

Dr Mario Vella, Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, argued that we must not assume that populism must be a repetition of past right-wing regimes. Although attempts to revive fascist and nazi icons are not to be taken lightly, the real danger lies in the widespread distrust of institutions, including those of the economy, financial stability and monetary policy.

The event was chaired by Dr Emmy Eklundh of King's College London, with which institution the Central Bank of Malta is concluding an agreement to jointly promote a European populism research network. The concluding debate was chaired by Professor Carmen Sammut, Pro Rector of the University of Malta.

Waiting for populism? Problems of interpretation and policy implications Four lectures and a Conversation

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