The Ideas Industry

Daniel W. Drezner , Nonresident Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy. In conversation with Dina Smeltz.

The Ideas Industry

Influencing the marketplace of ideas used to be reserved for an elite class of public intellectuals with broad expertise and academic cache. Today’s thought leaders don't need doctorates or fellowships to reach large audiences of people hungry for new thinking. Rather, TED talks, social media, and online mediums can be used to create positions of expertise. Drezner argues that political polarization, heightened inequality, and eroding trust in authority have converged to create a new intellectual class. Join the Council and Drezner as he explains how the marketplace of ideas has changed in the 21st century.

Daniel W. Drezner’s new book The Ideas Industry will be available for sale and signing from The Book Cellar. 

Speaker Bio


5:30 p.m.       
Registration and cash bar reception

6:00 p.m.       
Presentation and discussion

7:15 p.m.        
Adjournment and book signing

Mic Check

Mic Check with Dan Drezner


What is the best book/essay/article about a global issue or foreign policy you’ve read this year and why?

Jan-Werner Müller’s What Is Populism? I found it to be a very elegant formulation of what populism is and isn't, and the ways that non-populists need to cope with populists.

Who would you most want to debate on stage/over dinner/on a panel/via Twitter?

Steve Bannon. He's clearly not a stupid guy, but I've never encountered someone who holds views so alien to my understanding of America and American foreign policy.

What is one thing our audience might find surprising about you?

I think the greatest television how in history was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

What one piece of advice would you offer to those interested in a career in global affairs or your field?

Learn how to hold your liquor. More seriously, read as much economic history as humanly possible.