Each year, the program in International Politics and Economics hosts a symposium that brings experts to speak on a unified topic of substantive interest to IPE majors, faculty, the broader college and the public.


Instituted in 2012, the event has covered such varied topics as China’s rise on the world stage, various responses to the global economic crisis, and environmental policy’s relationship to inequality.

The program invites experts from a range of disciplines including economics, political science, business, sociology, geography and many others. These experts come from a variety of institutions, both liberal arts colleges and universities, but the symposium also includes scholars at think tanks, in government positions and at non-governmental organizations who specialize in issues related to the topic. The goal of each symposium is to consider the political and economic dimensions of a pressing issue from varying perspectives represented by the speakers.

The symposium takes place in late fall and offers a Friday afternoon dedicated to discussion of the topic selected that year. Students moderate each talk and the audience engages the speakers with questions in the presentations. The program in International Politics and Economics welcomes topic suggestions. For more information, topic suggestions and feedback, please contact the International Politics and Economics Program Director.

2021 Annual Symposium

November 12, 2021
1:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Image of world economic icons from 2021 Symposium poster.

Crisis of Capitalism and Democracy

This year the International Politics and Economics Symposium featured guest talks by Pippa Norris (Harvard University), Brendan Nyhan (Dartmouth College), and Stephan Haggard (UCSD) followed by small group discussions with the speakers and students.

1:00–2:00 p.m. “The two faces of trust (aka the cautionary fable of the frog and the scorpion)”
Pippa Norris, Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard University

2:15–3:15 p.m. “Facts and myths about (mis)information exposure and belief”
Brendan Nyhan, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor, Department of Government at Dartmouth College

3:30–4:30 p.m. “Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World”
Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; Director, Korea-Pacific Program at UC San Diego

4:45–5:15 p.m. Small group discussion with speakers

Speaker Recordings

Pippa Norris

“The two faces of trust (aka the cautionary fable of the frog and the scorpion)”

Brendan Nyhan

“Facts and myths about (mis)information exposure and belief”

Stephan Haggard

“Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World”

Small group discussion with speakers


Pippa Norris, the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at HKS, and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Government, has taught at Harvard for three decades. A comparative political scientist, her work focuses on democracy, public opinion and elections, political communications, & gender politics worldwide. Google Scholar ranks her 4th worldwide in political science citations, with an H index of 108, the SSRN ranks her 2nd in political science, and Ioannidis et al (2019) rank her as the most cited political scientist in the world.

Major honors include the Johan Skytte prize (known informally as the ‘Nobel’ prize in political science), the Karl Deutsch prize, the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate, the Sir Isaiah Berlin Lifetime Achievement Award, fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,the Murray Edelman Lifetime Achievement award,  the Samuel Eldersfeld Lifetime Career Achievement Award, the Charles E. Merriam Award, the George Hallet Award, the Brown Medal for Democracy, the Doris Graber award, and honorary doctorates from Edinburgh, Bergen, Leuphena, and Warwick universities, amongst others.

She has published around fifty books (many subsequently translated into dozens of languages). These include Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Populist Authoritarianism (2019, with Inglehart, book of the year by the Global Policy Institute), Strengthening Electoral Integrity (2017),  Why Elections Fail (2015), and Why Electoral Integrity Matters (2014).

She established the Electoral Integrity Project in 2012 & served (on sabbatical leave) as the Director of Democratic Governance at the United Nations Development Program in New York & on the executive of APSA (also Vice President), IPSA, and the PSA, as a consultant to the UN, OSCE, IDEA, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, NED, UN Women, and UNDP.Brendan Nyhan

Brendan Nyhan is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research, which focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Nature Human Behaviour, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Pediatrics, and Vaccine. He has been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (2018-2019) and a Belfer Fellow by the Anti-Defamation League (2019-2020) and was given the Emerging Scholar Award for the top scholar in the field within 10 years of their Ph.D. by the American Political Science Association’s section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior (2017). He is a co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a watchdog group that monitors the status of American democracy, and a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times. Brendan co-authored All the President’s Spin, a New York Times bestseller that Amazon named one of the best political books of 2004.

Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies, and serves as director of the Korea-Pacific Program. He teaches courses on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific at GPS covering political economy as well as security issues. He has done extensive research on North Korea in particular. In addition, he has a long-standing interest in transitions to and from democratic rule and the current phenomenon of democratic backsliding.

His most recent books include “Developmental States” (2018) on the rapid growth of East Asia. His work on North Korea includes three books with Marcus Noland: “Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid and Reform” (2007), “Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea” (2011) and “Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements and the Case of North Korea” (2017). His work on transitions to and from democratic rule includes “Dictators and Democrats: Masses, Elites and Regime Change” (2016) and the forthcoming “Backsliding: Democratic Regress in the Contemporary World” (2020).

He has provided commentary for major news outlets, such as CNN International and currently writes for the Korea Economic Institute’s Peninsula blog. He is editor of the Journal of East Asian Studies.


  • Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs
  • Office of the Dean of Faculty
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Economics
  • International Politics and Economics Program

Organizers and Contacts