Reading & Discussion Group

We propose reading and discussion groups, in collaboration with our colleagues, as an opportunity to share new ideas on broader political, economic, social or cultural issues (see 2018-06 article).

Next Topic

2018-Fall Cultural Backlash by Pippa Norris & Ronald Inglehart

Past Topics

2018-12-13 Optimism

2018-10-16 Free Speech & Fake News

2018-07-06 Migration

2018-04-24 Crypto-currencies

2017-09-20 Education

2017-06-23 Artificial Intelligence and Automation

2017-04-07 The international ramifications of populism: the end of the “liberal world order”?

2017-02-24 The rise of populism

Future topics (possibly)

Does being based in Geneva affect our ability to help our clients inspired by Freakonomics Radio Episode 197‘s (transcript) interview with freshly resigned World Bank President Jim Yong Kim about the “skin cream study” (also discussed here):

“Dedicated, well-meaning professionals [in the field of development] (…) can fail to help, or even inadvertently harm, the very people they seek to assist if their choices are subtly and unconsciously influenced by their social environment, the mental models they have of the poor, and the limits of their cognitive bandwidth.”

Universal Basic Income

Many opinion pieces (


2018-10-05 It comes as no shock that the powerful hate ‘identity politics’  (

2018-09-30 Can liberal democracies survive identity politics? (

2018-09-11 Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (Francis  Fukuyama) book


Positive discrimination




42min 38 sec “What we’re really trying to figure out how to do here is how to reinvent the way our democracy works. What we’re trying to do is to get beyond the idea that public institutions, the quality of our democracy really is limited to the notion of voting”

Time: a new currency for the post automation revolution inspired by Freakonomics Episode 362‘s (transcript) interview with US Presidential 2020 candidate Andrew Yang & e.g.

2014 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

2005 Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive By Jared Diamond

Objectivism: objectionable or on a roll?

1943 The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1959 Interview)

1957 Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1979 Interview)

1993 The Great Reckoning: Protect Yourself in the Coming Depression by James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg

1997 The Sovereign Individual by James Dale Davidson & William Rees-Mogg variously subtitled:

Choice quotes here & reviews here.

2007 The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein


Don’t panic


You may wish to make suggestions using the comments section below:

3 thoughts on “Reading & Discussion Group

  1. Looking forward to the discussion on cultural backlash. So much of who we are is shaped by what we read and I feel that the past couple of decades, while focusing on liberal values and communitarianism, tended to neglect our differences and the society’s underbelly. So when the recent moves towards the right and isolationsim came along, I felt particularly ill equipped to wrap my head around them and felt very out of place. Every value that I had been told was good, suddenly came under attack and was being challenged. Differences were no longer perceived as good, misogyny and supremacy reared their ugly heads, leaving a lot of us who grew up with a very different set of beliefs in the post-cold war era very disoriented. In recent times, I have therefore been motivated to look for works that examine these (not so) contemporary issues. While good analysis necessarily takes time and effort to develop, I can already recommend two works on the issue of cultural backlash. The first is an article by a professor of philosophy from Utah:
    The second is a book titled “The Age of Anger” by the Indian author Pankaj Mishra (labelled by many as the rightful successor to Edward Said).
    To me,both of these works serve as a useful compass for the times we find ourselves in.


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