Skip to content

Threats to Democracy

Arkwright building
Networking | Public lectures | Seminars | Workshops

Threats to Democracy is hosted by Nottingham Trent University's Department of Social and Political Sciences.

Past event

Event details

The war in Ukraine has been widely seen as a conflict between two antithetical systems of politics: a stand-off between democracy and autocracy that for some commentators echoes previous systemic confrontations between 20th century totalitarianisms and the liberal democratic order in Europe and beyond.

Democracy and the political systems that embrace it are also facing widespread challenges on other fronts, not least challenges from withinfrom populist, nativist and xenophobic movements that resist the very idea of competitive politics and open discourse about the purposes and practice of politics. This is a conflict that is waged by political leaders, parties and movements in electoral politics, the mass media and in so-called ‘culture wars’. The conflict extends from electoral campaigns by insurgent politicians down to debates on social media and at the grass roots over who should be celebrated in our public spaces.

We have invited a distinguished panel of experts including Nadia Whittome MP and a number of esteemed academics. Each panellist has contributed, whether in writing or by active campaigning, to the debate on contemporary challenges to the liberal and democratic order.

This online panel event will deliberate these challenges to democratic politics, examine the ‘threat’ they present to democratic order as well as to the values of civility and tolerance that are essential to the conduct of democratic politics.

The event will begin with opening remarks by our panellists followed by an ‘open mic; session that invites comments, debateand questions from online participants. This event is open to all members of Nottingham Trent University.

The panellists are:

Nadia Whittome is the Member of Parliament for Nottingham East. She has a particular interest in campaigning for racial justice and in health and special care issues. During the pandemic she worked in a local care home.

William Davies is Professor of Political Economy and Goldsmiths, University of London where he is Director of the Political Economy Research Centre. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian, The New York Times and The London Review of Books. He is the author of This is Not Normal. The Collapse of Liberal Britain and of Nervous States. Democracy and the Decline of Reason.

Alan Finlayson is Professor of Political and Social Theory at the University of East Anglia is an associate editor of the journal Contemporary Political Theory and Chair of the Editorial Board of Renewal. His research interests includethe theory, history and practice of political rhetoric

Robert Saunders is Reader in Modern History, Queen Mary, University of London and researches the history of democracy. He is currently writing a history of democracy in Britain. Amongst his recent publications is: Doubtful Democrats: Democracy in Britain since 1800', in the Journal of Modern European History (2019)

The event organisers are contactable as follows:

Dr Michael O’Neill:

Dr Tom Caygill:

Dr Mathew Mokhefi-Ashton:

Booking information

This is a virtual event. All registered attendees will receive the Teams link ahead of the event.

Virtual Event

Past event

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418