Conference: After Liberalism? Populism and the Future of Democracy

The second half of the twentieth century saw the emergence of a liberal world order dominated by the US and Europe. It was driven by a single unifying assumption: that the merits of globalization, free market capitalism and democracy were self-evident. Citizens across the world were expected to embrace this model and live in peace and prosperity under ‘Western’ hegemony.

However, recent years have revealed just how many challenges confront the liberal order. Many have experienced liberalism as a system designed to benefit existing political and business elites. Financial crises on both sides of the Atlantic portended various forms of illiberal populism. Demagogues tapped into deep reservoirs of resentment, spruiking isolationism and xenophobia as a panacea for inequalities. Challenges have also come from further afield. The balance of global power has shifted from the old hegemons towards illiberal regimes that have quickly emerged as economic and political powerhouses. Free from the constraints of elections and accountability, and in the face of declining Western power, these states have become increasingly assertive on the world stage.

The Alfred Deakin Institute’s flagship annual international conference, After Liberalism? Populism and the Future of Democracy, will engage with the many challenges confronting the liberal order in the contemporary global political landscape and will bring together leading scholars and practitioners across the disciplines of Politics and International Relations to engage with these questions across the following four key themes:

  • Populism, Immigration and Inequality

  • Liberalism, Security and Foreign Policy

  • Sustainability and Climate Change

  • Democracy and Public Deliberation

The conference will take place Wednesday 20 November - Friday 22 November in Melbourne.

Early bird registration is open until Saturday 28 September, 12:00am AEST.

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