While most think of Australia as a successful democracy underpinned by liberal values, it’s increasingly clear that we may not be immune from the global rise of xenophobic and nativist forces. Some are concerned that populism is pulling the Liberal Party and sections of our media to the right and will have implications for years to come. Associate Professor David Blaazer speaks with The Rise of the Right author and one-time Liberal Party adviser Greg Barns, former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and political writer George Megalogenis about the issue.

This event is part of the Thinking Globally series, supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Greg Barns (Australian)

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Greg Barns is a barrister and writer. He is the author of four books on Australian politics, including Whats Wrong with the Liberal Party? and Rise of the Right. Greg was a political staffer for ten years and ran the 1999 Republic Referendum campaign for Malcolm Turnbull. He was disendorsed by the Liberal Party in Tasmania in 2002 for his opposition to the Howard government's asylum seeker policies. Greg is an adviser to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and was National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance from 2011-12. He practices in the areas of criminal law and human rights, and teaches in RMIT University's Law program. Greg writes a weekly column for the Hobart Mercury, as well as contributing regularly to Crikey.

George Megalogenis (Australian)

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George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with more than three decades' experience in the media. His book The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of Australia’s Second Chance, Balancing Act – Australia Between Recession and Renewal, The Longest Decade and Faultlines. His latest book is The Football Solution.

Scott Ludlam (Australian)

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Scott Ludlam is a former Australian politician representing the Australian Greens. He served as a Senator from Western Australia 2008– 2017, and as Co-Deputy Leader of his party 2015–2017. He is currently a columnist for Guardian Australia and his first book on ecology, technology and politics will be published in 2019.

David Blaazer (Australian)

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David Blaazer grew up in Geelong and was educated at Geelong West Technical School and La Trobe University. His early academic work was on the non-communist left in early twentieth century Britain, including a book on the Popular Front campaign of the late 1930s and articles on the Guild Socialist movement. More recently he has been working on cultural, social and political aspects of the history of currency in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He has held academic appointments at La Trobe, Australian National University and UNSW. He is currently interim dean of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW.