Sam Wilkin


About Sam Wilkin - Leading Geopolitical Analyst and Author:

Sam Wilkin author and geopolitical analyst is director of political risk analytics at Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that operates in more than 140 countries and markets. He is responsible for developing and implementing political risk analysis and management tools and solutions for Willis Towers Watson clients globally.

Sam’s most recent book, History Repeating: Why Populists Rise and Governments Fall, published in April 2018, explains today’s tumultuous politics by showing that it has all happened before. It tells the stories of Argentina’s century of populism and decline, of the great American populist Huey Long, and of the divisive, populist billionaire who governed Thailand, among others - and in the process offers insight into what is happening now and what might happen next.

Sam is also the author, co-author or editor of three additional books and of numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes. He previously served as head of business research at Oxford Economics, associate director of the consultancy practice at Oxford Analytica, head of political risk consulting for Aon Trade Credit and as director of country analysis for Marvin Zonis & Associates.

He received his M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago and B.A. in economics from Eckerd College, and was the 2004 alumni fellow for Eckerd College. In 2017 and 2018 he was a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

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What Sam Wilkin Talks About:

The Global, U.S. or European Outlook
Sam is at his best delivering an interactive presentation and discussion that engages the attendees of your event. Sam prepares a set of slides, illustrated with lively charts and graphics, explaining and forecasting the hottest topics in geopolitics, from the outlook for consumers, to the slowdown in China, to the standoff over Grexit. After a short overview of the general outlook, he then moves from topic to topic based on interests of your event’s attendees, taking questions after each segment. It’s an interactive approach he has used everywhere from corporate board meetings to events of 200 to 300 attendees.

Ten Things You Need to Know about Populism
We are living through a populist moment. The share of the vote won by populist parties in the world’s leading democracies recently averaged almost forty% – a level not reached since the eve of World War II. Sam will share the stories of some of the more extraordinary populist politicians in history, and talk about what you need to know to continue to thrive at a time when populists are shaking up politics in Europe and North America.

It’s OK to Cry for Argentina
A great many countries were once poor and are now rich. But there is only one country in modern history that became rich and then poor again, and that is Argentina. Sam will talk about the lessons Argentina’s century of populism and decline, and the geopolitical risks from populism today. Clip: Juan Peron’s populist magic. 

Huey Long, American Populist
In the 1920s, Huey Long gained very nearly dictatorial control of the state of Louisiana, declaring martial law in New Orleans, twice. He was also immensely popular, winning elections by overwhelming majorities. Sam will explain how, under certain conditions, populists have electoral superpowers, and how populists impact financial markets.

The Life of Foo Foo: A Populist Tail
In 1997, Thailand suffered a punishing financial crisis. A few years later, the country elected a populist billionaire, seemingly in the mold of U.S. President Donald Trump. Roughly fifteen years later, Thailand’s democracy collapsed. But it was not the billionaire populist who did it. Sam will explain why ordinary people sometimes take dramatic political action, and why the dangers of populism are not always what they seem. Clip: The Thai Donald Trump? 

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 Recent Publications

A real subject matter expert with great insight and always delivers his messages in an engaging and humorous way.

Director, European Reseller & Supplies Group at Xerox

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