Power, Personality & Populism conference 2021

(Part 2 and 3 can be viewed via our Youtube channel)

'Power, Personality & Populism' was a half-day conference with interdisciplinary perspectives from psychiatry, media and history. Western and wider global politics is now marked by an 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 explored 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 Prof. Eli Zaretsky and psychiatrist Dr Quinton Deeley. The event is chaired by Dr Gareth Owen.

The media specialists examined populism, disruptors and the death of the liberal consensus. The psychiatric perspective 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.

Our themes and speakers are:  

  1. Insights from the MediaPeter Pomerantsev, Senior Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC and author of ‘This Is Not Propaganda’,
    Gillian Tett, Author and Chair of Editorial Board, Financial Times 
  1. Insights from PsychiatryDr Quinton Deeley, Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London  and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. 
  1. Insights from HistoryEli Zaretsky, Professor of History at the New School for Social Research, New York City.


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