2019 Speaker Biographies: The Global Rise of National Populism

Martin Eiermann is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on social movements, populism, and the history privacy in the United States. 

Victor Faessel is Associate Director of the Mellichamp Initiative on 21st Century Global Dynamics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and he has served as secretary of the Global Studies Consortium since its establishment in 2007. Previously he was founding Program Director of the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UCSB (2006 to 2016). He was managing editor of the 4-volume Encyclopedia of Global Studies (Helmut Anheier and Mark Juergensmeyer, eds., Sage 2012), and since 2010 is managing editor of the online global studies journal, global-e. His most recently concluded project is as managing editor of the Oxford Handbook of Global Studies (Mark Juergensmeyer, Saskia Sassen, and Manfred Steger, eds.), published in November 2018. He is co-editor with Richard Falk and Manoranjan Mohanty of Exploring Emergent Global Thresholds: Towards 2030, published by Orient Blackswan in 2017, and with Bidyut Mohanty on the anthology Our Money Our Lives: Microcredit and Women's Empowerment in Cross-Cultural Perspective, released in summer 2018. Victor completed his PhD in Myth Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2004.

Thomas Blom Hansen is the Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University.  He is the author of The Saffron Wave. Democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India (Princeton University Press 1999); Wages of Violence. Naming and identity in postcolonial Bombay (Princeton University Press 2001) Melancholia of Freedom. Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa. (Princeton University Press 2012)

Alan Karras is Associate Director of International and Area Studies. In his more than twenty years at Berkeley, he has taught courses on world history, classical political economy, Caribbean history, and the history of transnational crime—among others. His research interests are in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, and global interactions more broadly, especially as they relate to transnational transgressions like smuggling, fraud, and corruption. He is the author of Smuggling: Corruption and Contraband in World History (2010), Sojourners in the Sun: Scots Migrants in Jamaica and the Chesapeake, 1740-1800 (1993), and the coeditor, with John R. McNeill, of Atlantic American Societies: From Columbus through Abolition, 1492-1888 (1992). He also has co-edited a book, Encounters Old and New, with Laura Mitchell, that makes a case for historians to engage more with the public. He served as one of the editors for the forthcoming Cambridge Dictionary of World History and was on the board of editors for Cambridge University Press's multi-volume Cambridge World History.

Kathleen Klaus is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research focuses on political violence, land rights, elections, and forced migration, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled “Political Violence in Kenya: Land, Elections, and Claim-Making.” Her work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, Political Behavior, African Studies Review, and the Journal of Modern African Studies.

Liz McKenna is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. Starting in the fall, she will begin a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University at the SNF Agora Institute, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to strengthening democracy in the United States and around the world. Her dissertation documents how the political balance of power in Brazil shifted throughout a thirty-year period known as the New Republic (1988-2018) with a particular focus on mass, digitally-enabled protests and the growing influence of neo-Pentecostal church networks. Her broader research agenda examines the conditions under which civil society organizations either serve as protective moats or enablers of authoritarian politics.

Dr. Maria Ortuoste is an expert on Southeast Asia and Indo/Asia-Pacific security, Philippine and U.S. foreign policy, international law and maritime security, military alliances and security multilateralism. She has more than twenty years of research experience in academic and policy settings. Dr. Ortuoste teaches courses on international relations and comparative politics such as Comparative Politics of Asian Governments, International Law, International Security in the 21st Century, the UN in World Community, among others. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Ortuoste served eight years in the Philippine Foreign Service Institute’s Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS). As a senior research analyst and, later, head of the Center, Dr. Ortuoste directed their research program which covered all aspects of Philippine foreign policy. She also regularly participated in interagency policy meetings on various topics such as the South China Sea, ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum, UN peacekeeping, and also represented the Center in track-two and track one-and-a-half forums which included CSCAP and ASEAN-ISIS. She earned her doctorate from Arizona State University was also a fellow at the “Advanced International Programme in Conflict Resolution” in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research of Uppsala University, Sweden (1998), the “Security Studies Executive Course” in the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii (1999), and the Women in International Security Summer Symposium in Georgetown University (2006). Dr. Ortuoste is originally from the Philippines and received her M.A. International Studies and B.A. Journalism degrees from the University of the Philippines.

Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa and Global Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. He has served as an academic consultant on globalization for the U.S. State Department. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books on globalization, social and political theory, and nonviolence, including: The Rise of the Global Imaginary: Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror (Oxford University Press, 2008); What Is Global Studies? Theory & Practice (Routledge, 2017); and Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press).

Cihan Tuğal is Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley. Tuğal works on politics, economic change, and religion. His first book Passive Revolution: Absorbing the Islamic Challenge to Capitalism (Stanford, 2009) studied pro-capitalist Islam and its popularization among the poor. In his second book The Fall of the Turkish Model: How the Arab Uprisings Brought Down Islamic Liberalism (Verso 2016), Tuğal analyzed Islamic movements and regimes in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Iran. His most recent book Caring for the Poor (2017, Routledge) discusses liberalism's uneasy relations with charitable ethics. He now explores populism and revolution in the contemporary world system.