Carleton Connects: Brian Klaas ’08, Electoral Politics

6 October 2016

This program took place on Thursday, October 6, 2016

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are attempting to capitalize on a unique moment in American politics,  running two of the most populist campaigns in modern history. The reason for that is simple: each is attempting to capitalize on a unique moment in American politics, when economic inequality is so rife that strong economic indicators of growth exist at the same time that American voters overwhelmingly are demanding change. This creates an obvious puzzle: why is demand for change so high when economist statistics finally seem to be going in the right direction? The answer, Klaas will argue, only makes sense if we accept that we are in a new post-fact age of inequality that has dangerously upended traditional political rules.


Dr. Brian Klaas ’08 is a fellow in global politics at the London School of Economics. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy.

After graduating summa cum laude from Carleton with majors in international relations and history, he served as Deputy Campaign Manager/Policy Director for Mark Dayton’s successful campaign for Governor of Minnesota in 2010. Since leaving Minnesota, he completed a DPhil in Politics at the University of Oxford, focusing on democratization, election rigging, and political violence. His writing has appeared in various outlets including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs,The Los Angeles TimesForeign Policy, USA TodayNewsweek, and the Financial Times.

Klaas is also a regular commentator for NPR, BBC News, CNBC, Bloomberg, Sky News, and other international TV and radio outlets. 

Carleton Connects: Brian Klaas ’08