Optimism in the Past, Pessimism in the Future?

Why do we tend to glorify the past and look to the future with pessimism? Dame Minouche Shafik explores the causes of the rise of nostalgia politics and populism and links them to pressure on the social contract. She analyses how economic inequality, austerity, identity politics and fear of automatisation, combined with media misrepresentation, cause uncertainty and pessimism for the future at a time when most economic, social and political indicators show that things are in fact getting better.

An economist by training, Dame Minouche Shafik has spent most of her career straddling the worlds of public policy and academia. She became the youngest vice-president in the history of the World Bank at the age of 36. She joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011 as Deputy Managing Director with responsibility for many of the crisis countries in the Eurozone and the Arab countries in transition. She was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 2014 till 2017, responsible for a balance sheet of almost £475 billion, and sat on all of the Bank’s major policy committees.


27 November 2019, Wednesday


5:30pm – 7pm


JC 2, Level 1, Sunway University


Dame Minouche Shafik
Director, London School of Economics and Political Science;
Former Deputy Governor, Bank of England;
Honorary Fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford