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ANNUAL GRIP SYMPOSIUM: Politics of Inequality and Illiberal Right

25 April 2024 @ 09:00 - 17:30 CEST



25 April 2024
09:00 - 17:30 CEST


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NG5, Søndre Allmenning 1
Nygårdsgaten 5
Bergen, Norway
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The Politics of Inequality and the Rise of Illiberal Right: Global Perspective


Join us for the Annual GRIP Symposium on The Politics of Inequality and The Rise of the Illiberal Right: A Global Perspective. The Symposium follows the Annual GRIP Lecture on the same theme, delivered by Walden Bello on Wednesday, 24 April 2024. The Symposium will take place on Thursday, 25 April at Søndre Almnenning 1, NG5, University of Bergen. The event is for free, but with registration.

The Symposium will bring together leading scholars on the theme of illiberalism and through a day of engaging discussions scholars will explore the rise of far-right in different contexts.

Program for the Symposium:

09.00 Arrival and coffee
09.15 Opening statements
09.30 – 10.30 Session 1 chaired by Elina Troscenko, GRIP

  • Svati Shah, University of Massachusetts Amherst – “Fascism with Indian Characteristics’”
  • Christi van der Westhuizen, Nelson Mandela University – “South Africa’s Postcolonial Right-wing”

10.45 – 11.45 Session 2 chaired by Arif Rüzgar, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

  • Ayşe Buğra, Boğaziçi University – “The Rise of the Illiberal Right as the “Revenge of Politics”
  • Volodymyr Ishchenko, Free University Berlin and Don Kalb, GRIP – “Eastern European Working Class Neo-Nationalism: A Ukrainian Exception?”

12.00 – 13.00 Session 3 chaired by Geir Henning Presterudstuen, UIB

  • Ewald Engelen, University of Amsterdam – “Saving the ‘Fascists’ from Themselves”
  • Gabor Scheiring, Georgetown University Qatar – “Left Behind by the Left, Voting for the Right: The Self-Defeat of Neoliberal Social Democracy and the Rise of the Radical Right”

13.00 – 14.30 Lunch

14.30 – 15.30 Session 4 chaired by Tomas Salem, UIB

  • Julia Soul, CEIL – CONICET – “Notes on the Peculiarities of the Far Right Government in Argentina”
  • Jorge Núñez, University of Amsterdam – “Fascism Goes Viral: Far-Right Influencers, Organized Crime Bosses, and the Emergence of Social Media Authoritarianism in Ecuador”

15.30 – 16.15 Session 5 chaired by Don Kalb, GRIP

  • Marc Edelman, CUNY Graduate Center – “Fascism USA 2024”

16.30 – 17.30 Closing Comments and Reflections

  • Don Nonini (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Walden Bello (SUNY Binghamton, Focus on the Global South)

17.30 Concluding remarks by Don Kalb, GRIP


This Symposium presents a unique opportunity for a broader discussion on how to address global inequality and strengthen democratic institutions in an increasingly polarised world. Participating scholars will contribute with academic papers aligned with the theme of inequality and illiberalism, and will address in more detail the following themes:


  • Causes and Consequences of the Global Rise of the Illiberal Right
    This theme will explore the factors that have contributed to the global rise of the illiberal Right, as well as its implications for democracy, human rights, and global stability. Scholars will examine the complex forces that have given rise to this phenomenon, including economic inequality, political polarisation, and the erosion of trust in traditional institutions. They will also consider the broader implications of the illiberal Right’s ascendance for the future of global order.


  • The Role of Inequality and Class Actors
    This theme will examine the essential roles of inequality and class actors in the genesis and ascendance of the illiberal Right. Scholars will explore how economic inequality has created fertile ground for right-wing populism and how class actors have been mobilised to support illiberal movements. They will also consider how the illiberal Right has exploited social divisions to its advantage.


  • Traditional Categorisations and Their Limits
    This theme will critically scrutinise the applicability and constraints of conventional classifications, such as the Global North and Global South, in understanding the rise of the illiberal Right. Scholars will explore how these categorisations may obscure or misrepresent the complex dynamics at play. They will also consider the need for new and more nuanced frameworks for analysis.


  • Comparative Analyses of Right-Wing Mobilisations
    This theme will engage in comparative analyses of right-wing mobilisations across diverse regions, including Eastern Europe and the Western world. Scholars will dissect the dynamics of these movements, identifying patterns, distinctions, and the contextual nuances that underpin them. This cross-regional exploration will offer valuable insights into the global nature of the illiberal Right, as well as the factors that drive its rise and success in different contexts.


  • The Illiberal Right and Global Capitalism
    This theme will investigate the interplay between the rise of the illiberal Right and the global capitalist system. Scholars will examine how global economic trends have created conditions that have enabled the illiberal Right to flourish. They will also consider how the illiberal Right is reshaping the global capitalist order.


Please remember to register your attendance of GRIP Sympoisum here: Registration form


We are looking forward to seeing you at the Annual GRIP Lecture and Symposium.




The Annual GRIP Symposium is organised with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office.

GRIP Secretariat | Faculty of Social Sciences | University of Bergen | PO Box 7802 | 5020 Bergen, Norway
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