Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Populism, Democracy and Covid-19

27 May at 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Join us to reflect on the history of populism and democracy, as prompted by the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, explore Australia’s populist past and consider the impact of Covid-19 on current day politics and law.

Peter McPhee The bicentenary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte is a fertile moment to reflect on ‘populism’, for here was the archetypal ‘man on horseback’ who inspired astonishing personal devotion, someone who justified his power as the popular will and yet cynically manipulated that will when necessary.

Peter McPhee is Chair of the History Council of Victoria and Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Melbourne. He is an historian of revolutionary France and biographer of Maximilien Robespierre.

Jon Piccini On the mainstream origins of populism: While often seen as a recent phenomenon practiced by political outsiders, my research on human rights in Australia shows that the populist playbook – xenophobia, bordering, and alarm at the encroachment of international institutions – has older roots in mainstream political life.

Jon Piccini is Lecturer in History at Australian Catholic University. He researches Australian history from a global perspective, and his most recent book is Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Australia (Cambridge, 2019).

Imogen Saunders Populism, international law and COVID-19: reflecting on the increased backlash against international law in the face of the pandemic.

Dr Imogen Saunders is an Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law.  She researches in international law, including the history of international law.


Alicia Cerreto, HCV Executive Officer will host the evening, and Monash University’s Dr Susie Protschky and Professor Al Thomson of History at Monash University will facilitate the Q&A.


27 May
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Category:
View Event Website




History Council Victoria
0418 814 957
View Organiser Website