18th Karlsruhe Dialogues – Speakers

The Collapse of Global Economy

John Ralston Saul


John Ralston Saul

John Ralston Saul is the president of PEN International, an essayist, novelist, and long-time champion of freedom of expression. His works have been translated into 23 languages in 30 countries, are widely taught in universities, and are central to the debate over contemporary society in many countries. They include the philosophical trilogy: Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (1992), The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense (1994), The Unconscious Civilization (1995), and its conclusion, On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism (2001). In The Collapse of Globalism (2005) he predicted today’s economic crisis. In the autumn of 2012, he published his first novel in 15 years, Dark Diversions: A Traveler’s Tale, a picaresque novel about the life of modern nouveaux riches.


His awards include South Korea’s Manhae Grand Prize for Literature, the Pablo Neruda Medal, Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the inaugural Gutenberg Galaxy Award for Literature, and Italy’s Premio Letterario Internazionale. He is a Companion in the Order of Canada and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He is the recipient of 17 honorary degrees. In the autumn of 2013, Saul was appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Arts in Toronto.