Populism: Have Australian politicians caught the bug?



5 July 2018


The Old Rum Store


Public forum




Full price: $25 Student/staff: $15 Alumni: $20

After a sell-out 2017 season, the University of Sydney's version of Q&A is back—where academic and graduate experts tackle contemporary issues with a live audience who use their phones to comment and ask questions.

In recent years we have seen an ugly form of populism emerge and gather force, a leadership based on rhetorical appeals to popular fantasies, untruths and prejudices. Putin, Duterte, Le Pen, Brexit, Italy’s Five Star Movement and, of course, Donald Trump: populism seems contagious in its spread across the world.

After years of revolving door leadership, a historically fractious parliament and an electorate increasingly fed up with a lack of meaningful change, is Australia at risk of catching the bug?

Join experts as they analyse the populist epidemic and take the temperature of Australia’s current political climate.


  • Professor Annamarie Jagose, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney


  • Associate Professor Anika Gauja, Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr David Smith, Senior Lecturer, American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre
  • Lane Sainty, Reporter, Buzzfeed


  • Dr David Smith
    Dr David Smith
    Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney)

    David Smith is jointly appointed between the US Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.