Upcoming Programs

Upcoming 2019 Programs — Save the Date

Identity and the Rise of Global Populism

Francis Fukuyama speaks at World Affairs Council of Sonoma CountyFriday, May 3, 2019

12 noon at the Flamingo Hotel
2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA
Luncheon: Members: $35; Non-members $45

Reservations Closed

(Reservations close when venue is sold out. Go to Contact Us tab and send an email to be added to the wait list.)

Francis Fukuyama, Internationally acclaimed political scientist, professor at Stanford, author


“I don’t get no respect.”  Rodney Dangerfield, comedian

Francis Fukuyama would probably appreciate the above Rodney Dangerfield oft-repeated line from long ago.

According to Francis Fukuyama, it’s when people feel a lack of respect, i.e., their personal dignity has been violated, that the problems for democracy (and other forms of government) really begin.

Interestingly, Fukuyama believes that disrespect is even more upsetting to people than economic hardship.  It seems people can endure hardships; they can’t endure disrespect.   If Fukuyama is right, his observations have profound implications for how best to solve political problems.  Just giving “things” or “money” to people isn’t going to be enough.  Restoring respect is central to any real solution.

This presentation is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the top minds in the world talk about democracy: what makes it work; what leads to breakdowns, including the rise of populism; and what we might do to preserve it.

It is going to be a very interesting and timely talk! Don’t miss it.

About Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama is an acknowledged expert in the area of democratic political theory and practice.  His thinking is widely respected and his opinions are sought by leaders throughout the world.

Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and the Mosbacher Director of FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratization and international political economy.  His book, The End of History and the Last Man, was published by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions.

About his latest book: “Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment.”

Literary reviews include:

“(Fukuyama offers) a wealth of insights worthy of the greatest writers about democracy.”  David Runciman, Financial Times

“(Fukuyama is) both a perceptive political analyst and a wonderful storyteller.”  Gerard De Groot, The Washington Post

“One of the leading public intellectuals of our time.”  Michael Lind, The New York Times Book Review

You might want to read it before the presentation!


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U.S Afghan Policy and the Future of Regional Stability

Thursday, May 16, 2019

7:30 p.m. Spring Lake Village Auditorium
5555 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

Members & SLV residents: No Charge
Nonmembers: $5

Feroz Hassan Khan is a Research Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He is a former Brigadier in the Pakistan Army

In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump stated, “great nations do not fight endless wars.” The Trump administration has vowed to bring to a closure the “costly, foolish, and endless war” in Afghanistan, giving rise to a number of critical questions.

What are the consequences of U.S. withdrawal from or significant drawdown in Afghanistan? Will the U.S. withdrawal result in a resurgence by Al Qaeda, or will this decision provide space for new terror outfits, such as ISIS? What is the likelihood of a chaotic civil war in Afghanistan? What will be the impact on nuclear-armed Pakistan? How would regional actors – Russia, China, India and Iran – react to the new status quo in Afghanistan? Brigadier Khan will assess the impact on regional stability, linking shifting global geopolitics with U.S security interests.

Brigadier Khan holds an M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University. He has held a series of visiting fellowships at Stanford University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Brookings Institution in Washington, D. C. and the Sandia National Lab in New Mexico. A frequent participant in conferences on security, terrorism and nuclear arms control, Khan is the author of the well-reviewed Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb (2012) and co-editor of Nuclear Learning in South Asia: The Next Decade (2014).

Linda Lambert, Sponsor

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The Global Rise of Populism

Friday, June 7, 2019

12:00 noon
Legends at Bennett Valley Golf Club
3328 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa

Italian Buffet Luncheon
Members $29 Non-members $39

Anna Grzymala Busse Reservations

Reservations close May 31 (or earlier if capacity is reached).

Anna Grzymala-Busse, political science scholar and professor at Stanford


Populism is rising in both in developed and developing democracies. Why? How is it a problem?

Most analysts agree that populist movements around the world are being stoked by two big trends: large scale immigration and the threat of a collapsing domestic labor market. But another important factor driving populism is the voters’ loss of faith in the established, mainstream politicians. This situation has opened new opportunities for populists—and they have taken advantage of them.

Populism corrodes democratic values such as free speech, tolerance of the opposition, and forbearance. It also threatens democracy because it attacks the “others,” e.g., immigrants, members of another party, and so on. Divisiveness and intolerance are the result.

Once in power, populist governments often attack democratic institutions such as independent courts and free media, and divide society into “good” supporters and “traitorous” opponents. That’s when the problems really start.

Our speaker, Anna Grzymala-Busse, is an expert in political science. She will help us take a good look at the causes and effects of populism, its different forms and its rise around the world. In particular she will focus on political parties, institutions, and values. Her perspective will get you thinking!

About Professor Grzymala-Busse

Professor Grzymala-Busse is the Kevin and Michelle Douglas Professor of International Studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, and the director of the Global Populisms Project.
Professor Grzymala-Busse is an accomplished scholar of political science. Her research focuses on political parties, state development and transformation, religion and politics, and post-communist politics. She earned her PhD from Harvard; Masters from Cambridge; and an AB from Princeton.

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When we announce a forthcoming WAC luncheon or dinner program, we request that you press the Reserve Now button for your event.  You will be able to choose either (1) to enter a reservation and pay by credit card, or (2) to print a reservation form to fill out and mail to WACSC according to the instructions on the form.  In either case, you must reserve and pay so that we receive your reservation at least one week before the event.

Most venues require this amount of time (one week) in order to be properly staffed and for the chef to order the right quantity of food for our event. Also note that we will take reservations up to a week prior to the luncheon date, or earlier if capacity is reached. It is always a good idea to make your reservation as soon as you can so as not to be disappointed.

If you reserve by mailing a check, if your reservation arrives after the deadline date or if capacity has been reached, you will receive a notification and your check will be returned. You may request to be added to a wait list for reservations by leaving a message at the WACSC phone number: 707-573-6014.
We accept cancellations and provide refunds up to 72 hours before the event. For example, if there is a luncheon on Friday, we can accept your cancellation and send you a refund if you have called the above-mentioned phone number to cancel before noon on the preceding Tuesday. After that time, we cannot provide a refund, since we are obligated to pay the venue for the reservation, even if you do not come.


Many of us just can’t eat all the food that we are often served at our WAC luncheons. Wishing not to waste food, we may have asked for a “doggie bag.” Depending on where you were and whom you asked, you may have been told that the venue does not allow food to be taken away. How can that be? There is enough here for another meal!

A ‘NO DOGGY BAG’ policy applies at some of our luncheon venues. This is the restaurant’s food safety rule, not a WACSC policy. The reason is primarily related to liability that the restaurant would have, should you get sick from the food you take home. Sometimes, food taken home may sit in a car a bit too long and develop bacteria that could make you ill.  Please understand that the venue is not being mean, but, rather, they do not want to take the risk of any adverse health effects.

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