Research seminars

Throughout 2018, REPRESENT will host a series of research seminars, alternating between Birmingham and Nottingham.  These seminars, which are open to all staff and students at both universities, will feature a mix of external and internal speakers.

Details about the research seminars are available here.

Conference: Political Parties in the Age of Populism

On 26-27 April 2018, REPRESENT hosted a conference on Political Parties in the Age of Populism at the University of Birmingham.

The focus of this conference was on populism, political parties, and the use of foreign aid to support democracy overseas (often termed ‘democracy support’). Each session addressed one of four key themes:

  1. The rise of populism and the (apparent) crisis of representative democracy.
  2. The impact of populism on political parties.
  3. The challenge of responding to parties that threaten democracy.
  4. The potential, and limitations, of alternatives to political parties.

A fifth, cross-cutting theme – the implications of recent trends for the provision of assistance to parties by civil society groups and international donors – was addressed by all four sessions. A distinctive feature of this conference was its emphasis on building bridges between academics conducting research on these themes, and policy-makers and practitioners confronting these problems in the field.

Further details of the conference are available here. A pdf of the full schedule is here.

Update: The slides used for selected presentations are now available.

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Panel 4

Conference: Representation in the Age of Populism – Ideas for Global Action

The members of REPRESENT are acting as academic advisers for a high-profile conference, Representation in the Age of Populism, to be held in Brussels in June 2018. This event, to be co-hosted by leading democracy assistance providers (including International IDEA, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).

This conference will bring together leaders from politics, society, academia, democracy support, and media from across the world to shape a Global Agenda for the Renewal of Representation. This Agenda will be aimed at two groups: (i) governments at all levels (national, regional and local) in Europe, and across other regions of the world, and (ii) the democracy assistance community. The Agenda will inspire action towards reinvigorating democratic representation in its diversity across regions, helping governments, citizens, donors and democracy assistance providers to confront the challenges presented by populism – in all its forms – in recent years.


Photo credit: Political rally in Kenya, by the Commonwealth observer mission to Kenya 2017, used under CC BY-NC 2.0. Original photo here.