The covid-19 crisis may prove to be a boon for populist forces. But populism, on the left and right, has been on the rise globally for years. As mainstream parties have struggled to address the transformative effects of globalization, populist parties and politicians saw an opportunity to mobilize on the basis of citizens’ grievances. In a recent Stanford University report, the co-authors outline the threat populism poses to democracies and the steps that mainstream political parties must take to push back against this global trend.

CEPA hosted a panel discussion that considered the motivation of populist voters, the wider implications of global populism, and effective responses to the populist challenge.

ModeratorAlina Polyakova, President and CEO, CEPA

SpeakersFrancis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Anna Grzymala-Busse, Michelle and Kevin Douglas Professor of International Studies and Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

Didi Kuo, Senior Research Scholar and Associate Director for Research, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University

Constanze Stelzenmüller, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution

Media Contact: Eleanor Anderson at or (202) 551-9202.Photo: "Yellow vests - Place de la République," by Elekes Andor under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Dr. Alina Polyakova