Tuesday 26 November 18:00 - 19:30

Bentham House, Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre
4-6 Engsleigh Gardens

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Central Bank Independence in the Age of Populism

Government & Politics

How did the emergence of populism affect the workings of central banks, especially when it comes to their independence and effectiveness?

This panel discussion starts from the observed increase in political and economic populism, to ask what its consequences are for central banks’ independence, accountability and transparency. Our speakers will look at regulatory and institutional reforms in the governance framework and the latest thinking on how to allow for democratically accountable coordination among monetary, fiscal, and financial authorities, particularly when there is a risk of blurring central banks’ independence with policies extending beyond the monetary role (financial stability, quasi-fiscal policy etc).

What are the challenges for monetary policy and central banks in the light not only of the distributional, political and economic effects of unconventional policies? How can  monetary policy continue to be independently operated in an age when the influence of anti-establishment parties is on the rise?

Followed by a drinks reception.


Dr Stephanie Bergbauer, Economist, Directorate-General for International and European Relations, European Central Bank. Bergbauer holds a PhD in Political Science from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and previously graduated from the University of Oxford, Sciences Po Bordeaux and the University of Stuttgart. Her research interests focus on EU public opinion, public support for European integration and the socio-cultural underpinnings of political and economic integration at EU level.

Prof. Paul De Grauwe, John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy at the LSE European Institute. Before joining the LSE, De Grauwe was Professor of International Economics at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He was a member of the Belgian parliament from 1991 to 2003, as well a member of the Group of Economic Policy Analysis, advising President Barroso. He is the director of the money, macro and international finance research network of CESifo, University of Munich. He is a research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London. His research interests are international monetary relations, monetary integration, theory and empirical analysis of the foreign-exchange markets, and open-economy macroeconomics. His published books include ‘The Economics of Monetary Union’, Oxford, which was translated in ten languages and is now in its 12th edition. Other books are ‘International Money. Post-war Trends and Theories’, Oxford.

Prof. Jagjit Chadha, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).  Chadha was was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Kent and also at Cambridge. He was Professor of Economics at the University of St Andrews and Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge. He has worked at the Bank of England on Monetary Policy and as Chief Quantitative Economist at BNP Paribas, and has served as Chair of the Money, Macro, Finance Study Group. He has acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and academic adviser to both the Bank of England and HM Treasury, and to many central banks as well as the Bank for International Settlements. In the City of London he was the Mercers’ Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College from 2014-2018.

Prof. Claudia Wiesner, Jean Monnet Chair of Political science, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in Political Science, Jyväskylä University. In spring 2019 Wiesner visited the Minda de Gunzburg Centre for European Studies at Harvard University. Previously she was Acting Professor for Comparative Politics at Hamburg, Bochum and Marburg University. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute (EUI) and the Berlin Social Sciences Centre. Her primary research interests lie in the comparative study of democracy, political culture and political sociology in the EU multilevel system. Her latest monograph, published by Palgrave Macmillan is on ‘Inventing the EU as a democratic polity: Concepts, Actors and Controversies’.

Chair: Prof. Nauro F. Campos, Director of the UCL Centre for Comparative Economics.


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