The next lecture in the MRER Lecture Series will be held on Monday 7 May at 17:00, at the Open Access Area, Room 224, Faculty of Education, Old Humanities Building, University of Malta Msida Campus.
Title: Populism, democracy and a pedagogy of renewal
Presenter: Dr Jim Crowther, University of Edinburgh
Is populism the cause of a democratic deficit in different nation states across the globe or is it a consequence of them? Are populist political parties necessarily inimical to democracy?
Right-wing populism has exploited racist, bigoted, xenophobic and homophobic discourses
in order to ‘other’ particular social and ethnic groups. This political turn towards an inward looking, insular and chauvinistic nationalism in the US, UK, Turkey, India and many West and Eastern European states reinforces such concerns that populism is intrinsically bad for democracy. However, in what circumstances might populism, which is often characterised by mass engagement in politics, turn out contrary to expectations and be a resource for defending and extending democratic life? What can adult education in communities offer to further this end?
Dr Jim Crowther has been involved as a practitioner, researcher and academic in adult and community education since 1980. His PhD focussed on adult learning in and through popular protests. He is the co-ordinator of an international popular education network (PEN) for academics and researchers in higher education. His main research interest is in the contribution of adult education to furthering democracy and social justice, which he has written about extensively in reference to popular education, adult literacy and the politics of lifelong learning, active citizenship and social inclusion. He has also undertaken research on the educational use of information and communication technologies, and social media, in struggles for environmental justice.