News & events

Public Lecture: Prof Raphael de Kadt (8 February 2017, 19h00)

The Populist Threat to Global Peace and Prosperity


The victory of Donald Trump in the November 08 United States Presidential elections, Brexit,  and the rise of ‘populist’ movements in Europe heralds a likely major re-calibration of the international liberal political order that was crafted in the aftermath of the Second World War and consolidated after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991.  Among the forces that have driven these recent developments is the rise of what might be termed ‘nativist populist’ movements. We need to address the reasons for the rise of these movements and assess their implications for the continued stability of what has arguably become the most prosperous, productive and peaceful inter-polity arrangement in modern, if not all of recorded, history.  It bids us to ask whether the great ‘third wave’ of democratization - from 1974-2011 -has been halted, and perhaps even reversed.  

The international ‘liberal Leviathan’ seems potentially imperilled. New, assertive, geopolitical policies associated with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the re-emergence or consolidation of ‘authoritarian’ regimes such as those in Hungary, the Philippines, Russia, China and elsewhere, as well as the tribulations of the Middle East as a region bedevilled by civil war and political instability, will test its durability. What might President Trump’s promised ‘reset’ of relations with both Russia and China entail? Will the European Union survive the pressures put upon it by the refugee crisis, terrorism and the uncertain fate of the Euro? Are these developments, including yet another transformation in the nature of war, harbingers of the impending collapse of the ‘Western System of Power’ and of the emergence of a new, ‘anarchical’ international system with ‘Every Nation for Itself’ (Ian Bremmer)? Will democracy, as we have come to know it, survive? Might capitalism itself end, as Wolfgang Streeck has recently intimated in a brilliant new assay, and if so how? We are living in interesting, and I believe enormously dangerous, times. We are thus morally and politically obliged to seek a more precise measure of our emerging new global context and, not least, what it might betoken for South Africa.



Event Details:

Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 19:00 

St Augustine Auditorium
53 Ley Road, Victory Park, JHB

*** Free of charge, although a cash donation to St Augustine would be appreciated



Prof Raphael de Kadt

Head of Undergraduate Studies & Professor of Political Science

Raphael de Kadt, Head of the Department of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Political Science, is also Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Law and Economics at accadis Hochschule, Bad Homburg, Germany (cf. also, a Research Fellow at the Helen Suzman Foundation in South Africa and a Research Associate in the Department of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.  

Professor de Kadt, a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, brings with him vast experience in University management and in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and in research. He was formerly Head, School of Politics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban (2005-2008) and Director of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Programme, University of KwaZulu- Natal. He subsequently served as   Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science, St Augustine College of South Africa where he held the Bill Lynch Chair of Political. He has served as Guest Professor, accadis Hochschule, Bad Homburg, Germany from 2009 -2014 and as  Honorary Associate Professor of Politics, University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal from 2009- 2012. He presently serves as External Examiner for the Department of Political Studies and International Affairs, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and has served in this capacity at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand. He recently served Member of the South African Council for Higher Education 20 year review task team assessing the South African tertiary (higher) education system: 2013-2014.

Aside from academic interests, he has both an interest in, and experience of, financial asset management having been for many years a Trustee of and Chair of the R.1.5 billion University of KwaZulu-Natal retirement fund and has an interest in global political and economic risk assessment. In addition, he is a keen and serious photographer with a special passion for architectural, abstract and urban photography as well as portraiture. He also loves teaching photography, especially to pupils who have not had much access to the ‘digital world’.  Raphael is the instructor of the St Augustine College PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB, which is an open club that meets weekly, every Tuesday afternoon at 4PM in Lecture Room 6 at the College campus in Victory Park, Johannesburg.