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CIC National Office: Has the wave broken? Populism’s rise and the transatlantic relationship

April 30, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT


As the Canadian International Council (CIC) celebrates its 90th anniversary year, we invite you to join us for the first ever Big Issue Lecture featuring the Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander and a discussion moderated by David Common of the CBC.

The CIC convenes the Big Issue Lecture series to explore topical international issues with special guest speakers.

Douglas Alexander will draw on his experience as a former UK Europe Minister, Trade Investment and Foreign Affairs Minister, and U.K. Governor of the World Bank to share the complexities which surround the Brexit vote in the UK, the rise of populism across the West, and the impact of the changing nature of politics on the transatlantic relationship. Alexander will explain key influencers of voter attitudes such as the Global Financial Crisis, economic instability, immigration, and the rise of social media, to explain the advance of populist movements in Britain, across Europe and in the USA. After almost two decades at the highest level of UK politics, Alexander will discuss how the rise of populism will ultimately have an impact on how allies across the Atlantic interact, shifting policy priorities in an altered political environment, and what this means for geopolitics. Alexander will draw conclusions on what this changed political landscape means for politics of the centre ground, and encourage students to think about whether we can counter the rise of populism or whether we are destined to a decade of populist politics until it runs its course.

Speaker’s Biography

The Right Honourable Douglas Alexander is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting Professor at King’s College, London. He is a member of the UK Privy Council and a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and a Trustee of the Royal United Services Institute. Mr Alexander previously served in various Ministerial positions in the U.K. Government for nine years, and as a Member of the UK Parliament for eighteen years. Mr Alexander served as Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State for Europe, Secretary of State for Scotland and for Transport. He also served as the UK Secretary of State for International Development leading over 2500 staff based in 39 countries with a budget of $10.6 billion. As the UK’s Governor to the World Bank, he negotiated successfully for reforms including additional representation for developing countries and decentralisation of bank operations.

Moderator’s Biography

David Common is a Correspondent and Host of World Report, CBC’s flagship national morning radio newscast. The program has the largest audience of any CBC News program. David is also part of the team of investigative journalists for Marketplace. David has reported from more than fifty countries, previously holding roles as New York Correspondent and Europe Correspondent based in Paris. He’s covered the Boston Bombing, Hurricane Sandy, flown on military aircraft in the air war against Libya, spent more than a year total covering the Afghan conflict, worked on ships combating pirates off Somalia, plying Arctic waters in the Arctic and been at the site of Titanic’s sinking a hundred years later. David was born in Winnipeg, grew up in Toronto and has lived across Canada. David attended York University in Toronto and Stockholm University in Sweden. He has received several awards, nominated for a Gemini twice – winning once under the Best Reportage category.


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The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario Canada
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CIC National Office
(416) 946 - 7209
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