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?

At this event, a panel of experts analysed the populist epidemic and guaged 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