Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Cross-department symposium tackles populism

Thursday, 08 March 2018


The Departments of History, Philosophy and Culture, and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University collaborated on a research symposium on 25 January. Populism 2.0 brought together historians and political scientists to explore prominent issues implicit within contemporary populism, that is ‘the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people.’

The topics discussed at the symposium included: Why has it re-emerged as a viable force now?; What are the implications of populism for liberal democracy? And, did it ever go away?

The event was jointly organised by Professor Barrie Axford, Dr Rico Isaacs and Dr Tom Crook. It also included input from the Research Centre for Global Politics Economy and Society (GPES) and the Modern Political and International History group.

Organiser Tom Crook said “we hope this will be the first in a series of events. It was cross-departmental and attracted a very good turnout”. Additionally, the organisers hope that the next symposiums will be focused on the spread of populism online. Tom added: “Populism is arguably the greatest political pathology of our time - it’s great that scholars at Brookes are engaging with it”.

Barrie Axford, Professor of Politics, agreed: “I think one must treat current populism, the so-called populist revolt, as being a media phenomenon. Through social media political movements gain visibility and traction. The symposium itself attracted a wide turnout and we hope future events will appeal to both students and non specialists.”

Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.