Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Jack Goldstone ─ A World in Revolution: The Inevitable Backlash against Global Elites

Monday, March 6, 2017

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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The Trump election and populist movements in Europe and Asia can be considered akin to true revolutionary movements--ideologically driven; brought about by a slow-down in social mobility, elite factionalization and decline in public goods; and pursuing a revolutionary agenda including propagandist reshaping of reality and a radical reconfiguration of international relations. This talk will show the common demographic factors behind these developments, and examine whether historical lessons can be drawn regarding the durability of such revolutionary movements in modern democratic states.

Jack A. Goldstone is the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel, Jr. Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, a Senior Fellow of the Mercatus Center, and a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. Previously, Dr. Goldstone was on the faculty of Northwestern University and the University of California, and has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, Stanford University, UCLA, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the California Institute of Technology. He has received the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship award from the American Sociological Association, the Arnoldo Momigliano Prize, the Barrington Moore Jr. Award, the Myron Weiner Award, and fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the JS Guggenheim Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Mellon Foundation. He also served as the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor to the American Academy in Berlin.

A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Goldstone is also an Academic Fellow of the European Policy Council, and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Gaidar Institute (Moscow). He led a National Academy of Sciences study of USAID’s democracy assistance policies, and has served as a consultant on state fragility to USAID, Britain’s DFID, and the OECD. He helped lead the Political Instability Task Force initiated by the office of the U.S. Vice-President, and co-developed in State Fragility Index now published by the Center for Systemic Peace.

Dr. Goldstone’s research focuses on the impact of global population changes on social and economic development. His 2010 essay in Foreign Affairs – “The New Population Bomb: The Four Megatrends that will Change the World” – has been widely cited as a critical guide to the impact of future population change. He has been a keynote speaker at events in Oslo, Moscow, Antalya, Delhi, Beijing, Berlin, Aspen and New York, and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, and Fox News.

His recent books include Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics (Oxford U. Press, 2011) and Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford U. Press 2014). Prof. Goldstone blogs on global politics and economic trends at www.newpopulationbomb.com.

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