THE RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF POPULISM
DR ADRIAN PABST.
Reader in Politics, University of Kent.
With response from Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney.
Since the French Revolution Western politics has revolved around the left-right divide. With Brexit, Trump and the run-off between Macron and Le Pen in France, we are seeing a shift away from this old opposition towards a new polarity between liberals and anti-liberals. In one sense, this marks a revulsion against secular liberalism and its attack on traditions and practices rooted in Christianity and other faiths. But in another sense, some populist revolts are driven by forces that apply religion to advance a counter-modernity which is just as secular as the liberalism it opposes precisely because it appeals to the unmediated will of The People and related concepts originating from modern secularism.
Adrian holds a number of roles. Since 2007, he has been an associate editor of the critical theory journal TELOS. In 2015 he joined the academic board of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice whose main mission is to promote Catholic Social Thought. He is also a trustee of The James Madison Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to the study of federal systems – linked to his role as Director of Kent’s Centre for Federal Studies.
In November 2017 he was appointed as a Fellow of the The National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he works on a Nuffield-funded project about British fiscal policy.
During his study leave in 2018, he is the Sir Peter Lawler Visiting Fellow at the PM Glynn Institute (Australian Catholic University), a public philosophy, politics and policy think-tank where he works on the labour tradition with a focus on Catholic Social Thought and distributism.
Please visit the University of Kent for full biography