Democracy and/or Populism:

Exclusion, Equality and Disagreement in the COVID Age 

Keynote Speakers: Chantal Mouffe & Paula Biglieri

18th-23rd January 2021, University of Brighton UK, To be held online via MS Teams




This conference invites reflection on the relationship between Democracy and Populism; and consideration of new developments in democratic theory and politics in the 21stcentury. This is all the more pertinent in light of the extraordinary intervention of states across the globe in response to CV19. In this light we explore two related areas of critical thought and politics.

1. Populism is at the centre of contemporary political, critical and democratic debate. Is the demos distinct from the populus? Is populism a necessary element of democratic politics or merely the perverse shadow of capitalism? Does populism open space for democratic renewal or is populism of necessity exclusionary and racist? Has neoliberalism spawned a right-wing and racist populist politics?

2. How has the spread of CV19 across the globe changed our understanding of the role of states? What do these developments mean for a bio-politics of population? Does the extension of state control over the people in response to a public health emergency extend or limit democratic politics? IS COVID 19 the end of neoliberal politics? Will it result in the resurgence of populisms of the left and right?

This conference is open to all, and will be held online via Microsoft Teams. To register please contact the CAPPE Administrator, Ian Sinclair, via <>


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