A second event under ‘PIC Conversations’ was held this month in which PIC was pleased to host Prof. Nimai Mehta, Academic Director, Global Economics and Business Program, American University (Washington D.C.) for a talk on “US Elections 2020: Domestic and Global Implications” on 15th January. The session was chaired by Prof. Luis Miranda, Chairman, Centre for Civil Society and Trustee, The University of Chicago Trust.
Prof. Mehta noted that over the past decade, cultural and political polarization had been steadily increasing across the US. While this partly explains how Trump was elected in 2016, the fact that despite his poor performance and the nightmare of the pandemic, he managed to garner over 70 million votes needs to be analysed and explained. Prof. Mehta also spoke at length on government failures. He clarified that by this, he did not mean the failure of a singular administration, but the progressive erosion of American government institutions to deliver the services they were mandated to.
In his talk, Prof. Mehta also touched upon various other topics, including American exceptionalism and the probability of the Republican Party breaking up and the introduction of a multi-party polity in America. He emphasised that despite the declassification of the Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific, the intentions of the new administration will need to be carefully gauged against India’s own priorities. Prof. Mehta addressed most questions from the audience during the course of his talk.