POSTPONED – Power, Personality & Populism


Conference postponed: the COVID 19 pandemic has created uncertainty about bans on conferences and other large scale public meetings. In light of this we have decided to act early to postpone the conference until we feel confident that the event will definitely be able to proceed.  We hope you will all be able to attend a rescheduled event, and we will identify a new date at the earliest opportunity.

‘Power, Personality & Populism’ is a one-day conference with interdisciplinary perspectives across psychiatry, media and history. Global politics is now marked by intensifying rhetoric of conflict and division between groups, especially in the context of new media where politicians ready to amplify division have thrived, violating conventions of public civility and consensus. This raises the question of whether the new media environment favours particular personality types in politicians – those unrestrained by norms and who seek power at any cost. In the mix are undisclosed interest groups who steer messaging to millions of people.

The ‘Power, Personality & Populism’ conference will explore the relationships between personality and the media in the new politics, gaining insights from leading figures in media, psychiatry and history, including FT US editor Gillian Tett, author Peter Pomerantsev, historian and analyst Prof. Daniel Pick and psychiatrists Dr Cleo van Velsen, Dr Gareth Owen and Dr Quinton Deeley amongst others.

The media specialists will examine populism, disruptors and the death of the liberal consensus.The psychiatrists will explore narcissism and psychopathy in public life, and amongst the historical questions we will ask if we have been here before (for example during the 1930s). A final session will search for possible paths towards greater civic health.

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