Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy

February 23, 2012
12:00 am - 12:00 am

A Journal of Democracy book edited by
Francis Fukuyama, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner
published in February 2012 by the Johns Hopkins University Press

featuring contributors
Francis Fukuyama,
Peter Lewis,
Mitchell Orenstein,
Marc F. Plattner

About the Event

The rise of populism in new democracies, especially in Latin America, has brought renewed urgency to the question of how liberal democracy deals with issues of poverty and inequality. Citizens who feel that democracy failed to improve their economic condition are often vulnerable to the appeal of political leaders with authoritarian tendencies. To counteract this trend, liberal democracies must establish policies that will reduce socioeconomic disparities without violating liberal principles, interfering with economic growth, or ignoring the consensus of the people.

Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy addresses the complicated philosophical and moral issues surrounding the distribution of economic goods in free societies as well as the empirical relationships between democratization and trends in poverty and inequality. This volume also discusses the variety of welfare-state policies that have been adopted in different regions of the world. During this panel discussion, the speakers gave special attention to the relationship between poverty, inequality, and democracy in Latin America, Africa, and postcommunist Europe.

About the Speakers

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law. He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man and, most recently, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution.

Peter Lewis is director of the African Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His most recent book is Growing Apart: Oil, Politics, and Economic Change in Indonesia and Nigeria (2007).

Mitchell A. Orenstein is the S. Richard Hirsch Associate Professor of European Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. His book, Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform, won the 2009 Charles H. Levine Prize of the International Political Science Association.

Marc F. Plattner is coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies, and vice-president for research and studies at the National Endowment for Democracy.