HLS Conference: Populist Plutocrats: Lessons from Around the World


Saturday, September 23, 2017, 8:30am to 6:00pm


Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West AB (2019) Harvard Law School

The conference, which will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, is entitled “Populist Plutocrats: Lessons from Around the World.” The conference theme will emphasize what Americans might learn about the current political situation here from other countries (such as Italy, Thailand, the Philippines, Peru, and South Africa); speakers include leading scholars, politicians, journalists and activists from around the world (including, among others, Abhisit Vejjajiva, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, and Jose Ugaz, the Chair of Transparency International who previously served as the special prosecutor of Alberto Fujimori in Peru).

Conference agenda (below) and the link to the conference website (https://research.chicagobooth.edu/stigler/events/single-events/september-23-2017)


Populist Plutocrats: Lessons from Around the World

Harvard Law School, September 23, 2017

Conference Agenda

8:30-9:00: Coffee

9:00-9:15: Welcome and Opening Remarks

John Manning (Dean, Harvard Law School)

9:15-11:00: Understanding Populist Plutocracy 1: Berlusconi in Italy


Giovanni Orsina (Professor of History, Luiss-Carli University)

Beppe Severgnini (journalist and columnist, Corriere della Sera)

Luigi Zingales (Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

11:00-11:15: Coffee break

11:15-12:30: Understanding Populist Plutocracy 2: Thaksin in Thailand


Abhisit Vejjajiva (Prime Minister of Thailand 2008-2011; Leader of the Democrat Party)

Duncan McCargo (Professor of Political Science, University of Leeds)

Moderator: Alan Wirzbicki (senior editorial writer, Boston Globe)

12:30-1:30: Lunch break

1:30-2:30: Resisting Populist Plutocracy 1: Investigative Journalism in Estrada’s Philippines

Panelist: Sheila Coronel (Professor, Columbia Journalism School)

Moderator: David Sanger (national security correspondent, New York Times)

2:30-2:45: Coffee break

2:45-4:30: Resisting Populist Plutocracy 2: Legal Checks in Fujimori’s Peru and Zuma’s South Africa


Paul Holden (Director of Investigations, Corruption Watch UK)

Jose Ugaz (Chair of the Board, Transparency International)

Moderator: Matthew Stephenson (Professor, Harvard Law School)

4:30-5:00: Concluding remarks

Matthew Stephenson and Luigi Zingales

5:00-6:00: Reception (coffee and light snacks)