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Retreat from Globalisation? Brexit, Trump and the New Populism

10 March 2017

The Royal Irish Academy International Affairs Standing Committee is seeking papers for a series of panels to be included in its conference this year by Tuesday 14 March at 17:00,

The Royal Irish Academy International Affairs Standing Committee is seeking papers for a series of panels to be included in its conference this year.

The conference, entitled: Retreat from Globalisation? Brexit, Trump and the New Populism, will be held on Wednesday, 31 May 2017.

Questions that arise from recent events:

  • Is globalisation under threat?
  • Has it both provoked and facilitated a potentially dangerous reaction?
  • Has it released new interconnected domestic and international forces?
  • Are we seeing a new clash between “patriots” and “globalists”?
  • Might these dynamics result in deglobalisation?

The Rise of populism

The rise of populism seems to highlight the existence of a crisis of democracy. It also challenges human rights and the rule of law. Have economic changes undermined social stability in major states leading to the resurgence of nationalism and identity-based politics? Are we in a new age of disruption and polarisation where the traditional sponsors of multilateralism and globalisation, America in particular, are withdrawing from the liberal international order? Growing socio-economic inequality, the implications of ICT (for media, discourse, politics and international affairs), the Fourth Industrial Revolution (automation), geo-economic shifts (to the Asia-Pacific), shifting balances of power, the Great Recession, the apparent rise of plutocrats, fears of terrorism and many more variables play roles in generating anxiety and disruption.

Are Trump, Brexit and populism symptoms of broader phenomena associated with globalisation? Will the elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany in 2017 force globalisation to retreat in the face of authoritarian, right-wing and anti-immigration politics?  Is this process simply occurring in western democracies or is it a global occurrence?

Conference objective

The objective of this conference is to consider recent landmark events and the uncertainties that arise from them in wider, deeper and longer frameworks of analysis. Country experts, foreign policy experts/professionals, economists, sociologists, media studies experts, geographers, lawyers, political scientists, historians, social scientists and many others will be able to offer useful insights.

The conference will include a dedicated session for doctoral students.

To have your paper considered for the conference programme, please complete this short form provided, by close of business, Tuesday 14 March 2017

Please note that you can indicate if you would like to have your paper considered for inclusion in the forthcoming issue of the Academy’s Irish Studies in International Affairs journal.

The committee would like proposals from professional academic researchers and think tanks, but it also encourages applications from advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral colleagues.

The International Affairs Conference is always a highlight of the Academy’s calendar. Previous speakers include: the US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Mr George Mitchell; former EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Mr Gijs de Vries; Professor Sarah Oates, University of Glasgow and Professor Paul Rogers, Bradford University. 

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