Fear of automation and the rise of populism and protectionism

Fear of automation and the rise of populism and protectionism



10 October 2018


Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW


Public forum



The American economy is being permanently affected by automation. In the coming years, an increasing number of individuals will lose their jobs as a result of automation and artificial intelligence. This will have widespread implications for the economy, but also potentially for politics and policy areas like immigration.

Peter Loewen is a professor at the Department of Political Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto, as well as a fellow at Stanford University's Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. He joined the United States Studies Centre's CEO Professor Simon Jackman and director of its Innovation and Entrepreneurship program Claire McFarland to explore how fear about automation is related to support for populist candidates and parties, and for more protectionist public policy. They discussed original data from a recent survey of American adults. 


  • Professor Peter Loewen
    Professor Peter Loewen
    Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

    Peter Loewen is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. For the 2018-2019 academic year, he is a Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. 

  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman

    Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.

  • Claire McFarland
    Claire McFarland

    Claire McFarland was previously the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Director at the United States Studies Centre.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program received funding support from the New South Wales Government