The upheavals of 2016-2020 have changed the world and created new challenges for progressive, social democratic and liberal thinking. The future of democracy, long since called into question by apparent failures effectively to address social and economic disruption, gradually lost its undisputed dominance.
2020 was a potential tuning point. The UK left the European Union, Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election and the Covid pandemic started a change in modern perceptions of the role of state intervention, international scientific collaboration and much besides.
In 2021 PWB’s webinar programme will kindle debates around some of these issues.
The EU Institutions after Brexit
What has really been learned from the UK’s exit? Who has and who hasn’t been listening? How can the institutions respond? How can friends of Europe effectively critique institutions and policies without adding fuel to the fire of scepticism and populism?
Two countries at the heart of the Brexit conundrum linked by a millennium of entangled history and trading co-existence pre-dating the Roman Empire but now facing uncertainty. After 117 years, has Brexit finally killed the Entente Cordial? Was France the embodiment of ‘Europe’ and of everything Brexit voters disliked about ‘Europe’? Is the UK-France relationship in fact key to rebuilding multilateralism?
Reorganising working people
Post-industrial growth sectors have proved stony ground for conventional union organisation. Can Unions re-organise working people around a new message? Is there any longer a working class interest that can be represented in the political world through membership organisations? Is Labour bad for the Unions? All these questions have been asked before but largely ducked.
Watch this space
More information on the webinars will become published here as the events develop and as reservations open.
Localism without borders
How can cities, regions and localities help turn around the retreat toward political nativism and economic nationalism? How practical are the existing networks and how do they need to change? What is the role of global networks? How successful has environmental co-operation been at city-regional level and what are the lessons for other global transformational challenges?
3 June 2021
Prof Sheila Foster, University of Georgetown.
Landrat Matthias Groote, Landkreis Leer, SPD MEP 2005-2016.
Rep Jack Lewis, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 7th District
Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy,
Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Marseille, PS MEP 2014-19
Councillor Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff City Council.
Populism in retreat?
16 April 2021
Was 2020 the year populism’s appeal started to recede? Are democrats finally learning how to fight the war on truth? Is the decline of working class organisation leading us toward authoritarian conclusions and further appeasement of populism?
Isabel Carvalhais MEP, Portugal, S&D working group on extremism.
Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, University of Glasgow
Prof Conor Foley, Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro
Alison McGovern MP, for Wirral South, UK Labour