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'Brexit and the Political Economy of ‘Populism’ -Yiannis Kitromilides

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Talk Title: ‘Brexit and the Political Economy of ‘Populism’

The next St Catharine’s Political Economy Seminar in the series on the Economics of Austerity, will be held on 25 January, 2017 – Yiannis Kitromilides will give a talk on “Brexit and the Political Economy of ‘Populism’”. The seminar will be held in the RAMSDEN Room at St Catharine’s College from 6.00-7.30 pm. All are welcome. The seminar series is supported by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economics and Policy Group at the Judge Business School.

Speaker Yiannis Kitromilides is Associate Member of the Cambridge Centre of Economic and Public Policy, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. He has previously taught at the University of Greenwich, the University of Westminster, the University of Middlesex and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His main research interests are in the areas of European Monetary Integration, Reform of Banking, Economics of Climate Change and the Political Economy of Economic Policy-making. His most recent publications include papers on the political economy of the austerity strategy, Greece and the eurozone crisis, Technocracy and public policy-making and the EU after ‘Brexit’.

Talk Overview The unexpected electoral success of both the ‘leave’ campaign in the UK referendum and of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections has been widely attributed to the rise of right-wing ‘populism’. It is predicted that this phenomenon is likely to be repeated in other parts of Europe and the World. This is to be contrasted with left-wing ‘populism’ which produced the recent electoral successes of the anti-austerity movements of Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain. ‘Populism’ appears to provide an explanation for the electoral successes of both left-wing and right-wing movements. The concept of ‘populism’ is subject to many different, often conflicting, interpretations and definitions. The paper examines the different varieties of ‘populism’ and concludes that given its elusive nature the widespread use of the term as an explanation of recent surprising electoral outcomes is of rather limited usefulness. Regarding ‘Brexit’ the paper discusses an alternative explanation for the electoral outcome of the UK referendum as ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson ( in the event of a query.

This talk is part of the St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series series.

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