Populism and polarization: The liberal economic order under threat

Myron Scholes Global Markets Forum

December 11, 2007 5:30–7 p.m., Gleacher Center

Clive Crook, United States political affairs columnist for the Financial Times and National Journal, discussed partisan polarization in the United States. Crook compared American politics since the mid-1980s with the “poisoned” political atmosphere and chronic instability in Britain before its political system was shaken up: first by Conservative dominance under Margaret Thatcher, then later by a reformed Labour party under Tony Blair. Thatcher was “bitterly partisan,” said Crook, and she won and held power because the country “rejected the old-school socialist Labour party and trade-union dominance of the economy.” This gave a strong incentive to Labour to shed its old ideology; Britain’s partisanship lessened when Tony Blair made Labour electable again by positioning the party “very close to the center.”

Speaker Profiles

Clive Crook is one of the world’s most respected economics journalists. As a commentator, his principal interest is political economy - the intersection of politics and economics.

For some 20 years, Mr. Crook guided the Economist magazine’s editorial line across its broadly defined economics terrain. As its deputy editor for 11 years, he supervised its full range of interests in business, politics and international relations.

He is the author of hundreds of articles, almost all of them unsigned (in the magazine’s tradition of anonymity), including many of the magazine’s most memorable and influential editorials. As the Economist’s chief economics commentator, he wrote frequently on global trade, development and the economic role of government.

In 2004, Mr. Crook co-chaired the Copenhagen Consensus project, a gathering of Nobel laureates and other world renowned economists aimed at framing global development priorities for the coming decades.

Clive Crook is a columnist for the Financial Times, based in Washington DC. He also is senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly and a columnist for National Journal.


This event is part of the Initiative on Global Markets and is generously sponsored by Myron Scholes.