In the Name of ‘Freedom’: Right-Wing Populism and the End of the Liberal World Order

The event brings together commentators from across the globe and from markedly different disciplines and perspectives to discuss the way right-wing populism is framed within a discourse of freedom.

From anti-woke sentiment, anti-masking campaigns, Canada’s Freedom Convoy, and the U.S. Capitol Riots, ‘freedom’ is frequently being invoked as the calling-card of right-wing populism, leading to the paradoxical situation in which the unravelling of the ‘liberal world order’ might be done in freedom’s name. The Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society is hosting a two-day, online roundtable event that will bring academics and journalists from different parts of the world and from markedly different perspectives into conversation to discuss the shifting ideational frames and passions that have accompanied recent material and cultural shifts in the ‘Western’ world and their significance for the world as we have known it.

These shifts have been made manifest in the “culture wars” that are ever more being waged across many different societies, often in the name of defending ‘freedom’; from micro-aggressions against ‘woke’ academics, to government crackdowns on the teaching of ‘critical race theory’, to anti-vax conspiracies that have flourished on social media and have led to blockades in the capital cities of Canada and New Zealand, and even to the potential threat of civil war in the next U.S. presidential election.

The aim of this roundtable event is to build on the broad body of research on the rise of populism with much of the early focus on the shifts in the material characteristics of Western liberal democracies with its corresponding impact on the ‘dispossessed’ white working class. It will facilitate an otherwise unlikely dialogue amongst those who, each in their own way, are already working to push the boundaries of conversation. In particular, it will feature those whose work is at the cutting edge of researching, writing and thinking about (a) the identity frameworks, ideational frameworks or passionate attachments that underpin contemporary right-wing and/or reactionary populist politics in the name of freedom and/or (b) the impact of recent societal changes, such as globalisation and digitalisation, on the emergence of these frameworks.

This event will be in two sessions; you can choose to attend one or more of the following sessions;

Tuesday 24th January 1:30p.m. - 4:45p.m.

Wednesday 25th January 1:30p.m. - 5:45p.m


Prof. Barrie Axford, Oxford Brookes University
Prof. Daniel Drache, York University Canada
Prof. Rico Isaacs, University of Lincoln
Dr. Bohdana Kurylo, Oxford Brookes University
Dr. Chris Lizotte (Oxford Brookes University)
Dr. Tina Managhan, Oxford Brookes University
Dr. Todd McGowan, University of Vermont
Mr. Daniel Renwick, Videographer and Writer.
Prof. Julia Roth, Bielefeld University
Dr. Robbie Shilliam, John Hopkins University
Dr. Simon Strick, ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften
Dr. Jon Wheatley, Oxford Brookes University
Prof. Ruth Wodak, Lancaster University/University Vienna
Dr. Alenka Zupančič, The European Graduate School

Contact us