Date and Time

17th October 2019

With rightwing populist and nationalist politics gaining strength around the world, what is the best way to understand and counter them? What lessons can countries facing rising far-right movements learn from each other?

Political philosophy and news journalism offer two distinct frames through which to view the the upheavals in electoral politics – and beyond – that are sweeping away past certainties and turning democracies across the world upside down. How fearful should we be of these movements? What can the US and Europe learn from each other? And how can intellectuals and journalists help each other and the public to make sense of what is going on?

The Stuart Hall Foundation invites you to join Michael Walzer and Paul Lewis for a unique engagement as they present and discuss their distinct perspectives on the current surge of populist movements on both sides of the Atlantic.

Michael Walzer draws on several decades of experience as a public intellectual in the United States and as editor of the magazine Dissent, and has emphasised the need to address the politics of inclusion and redistribution that animate the underlying crisis of democracy. Paul Lewis is Associate Editor for technology and special projects at Guardian UK, and former Washington correspondent. Recently he has been leading the Guardian’s “New Populism” series, which involved novel academic research into populism – in partnership with dozens of social scientists.

This event is presented by the Stuart Hall Foundation in partnership with the Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Mile End Institute, and will be chaired by Professor Kimberly Hutchings (QMUL). 


The discussion will take place 6.30pm – 8pm, then please join us for refreshments afterwards outside the Arts Two lecture theatre until 9pm.


One of America’s foremost political thinkers, Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. Walzer’s books include Just and Unjust Wars (1977), Spheres of Justice (1983), On Toleration (1997), Arguing About War (2004), and The Paradox of Liberation (2015); he served as co-editor of the political journal Dissent for more than three decades, retiring in 2014. Currently, he is working on issues having to do with international justice and the connection of religion and politics, and also on a collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought.

Paul Lewis is Associate Editor at the Guardian. He recently spearheaded a six-month series exploring global populism and the rise of the radical right, which has included academic research collaborations and an in-depth investigation into Steve Bannon’s attempt to help European far-right parties in elections. Paul was previously the Guardian’s San Francisco Bureau Chief and Washington Correspondent, covering Barack Obama’s White House and the rise of Donald Trump, and Special Projects Editor. He is the co-author of Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police, which led to the ongoing public inquiry into police surveillance of political activists, and is well-known for his investigation revealing the police role in the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests. Lewis has been awarded twelve major journalism prizes since joining the Guardian as a trainee in 2005.

Kimberly Hutchings is Professor of Politics and International Relations at QMUL and Head of School of Politics and International Relations. She is the author of numerous books on war, ethics, political agency and feminist philosophy, including Can Political Violence Ever Be Justified? (Polity Press, 2019) with Elizabeth Fraser. Working at the intersection of political and international theory and philosophy she began her research examining the philosophies of Hegel and Kant and is currently involved in a project examining women in the history of international political thought. Kimberly was the first ever recipient of the British International Studies prize for Distinguished Contribution to the Profession in 2015.

Venue information

For more information about how to find the venue, please visit the Queen Mary University website.

For access requirements, please contact the Stuart Hall Foundation via email on


Image: Courtesy of the Guardian