forthcoming events

The Academy 2018

University as it should be: our annual two-day summer school for anyone interested in studying ideas.

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 July 2018, Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre, Bedfordshire

About The Academy

The Academy has been running since 2011. Bringing together a wide range of people of all ages and educational backgrounds, The Academy is a modest attempt to demonstrate the value of scholarship in itself in today’s climate of instrumental approaches to knowledge, the use of universities as social-engineering battering rams and the incessant demands to show value for money.

Academy 2018

The Academy 2018 will examine the history and significance of popular sovereignty from ancient Athens to the present day. What different forms has society and public life taken from the early appearance of democracy? What have been the trends and challenges? What does contemporary populism and the reaction against it - against national sovereignty and borders - mean for the early 21st century?



Welcome address

Plenary 1
Nation, nationalism and national consciousness

Lectures 1
Athens: the emergence of the demos
Popular sovereignty and Renaissance republicanism

Lectures 2
The ideal of the liberal nation-state
The age of revolution

Plenary 2
The contradictions of the nation-state

After dinner debate:
Topic to be announced


Plenary 3
Democracy and anti-democracy

Lectures 3
Globalism and neo-liberalism

Sunday shorts
A choice of three short lectures - topics to follow

Plenary 4
A liberal defence of popular sovereignty


Professor Frank Furedi
sociologist, commentator and author of numerous books, including most recently Populism and the European Culture Wars

Josie Appleton
convenor, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: Rise of the busybody state

Dr Tim Black
editor, the spiked review; columnist, spiked

Angus Kennedy
author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination and Borders: the foundation of freedom and security (forthcoming)

Phil Mullan
author, Creative destruction: how to start an economic renaissance

Dr James Panton
head of upper sixth and head of politics, Magdalen College School; associate professor of philosophy, Open University


Ehrenberg, V., From Solon to Socrates
Machiavelli, N., The Discourses
Rousseau, J.-J., The Social Contract
Kant, I., Toward Perpetual Peace
Lenin, V.I., The Right of Nations to Self-Determination
Schmitt, C., The Concept of the Political
Anderson, B., Imagined Communities
Hobsbawm, E, Nations and Nationalism
Bell, D. The Cult of the Nation in France
Habermas, The Lure of Technocracy
Krastev, I., After Europe
Goodhart, D., The Road to Somewhere
Skinner, Q. &  Bourke, R. (eds.), Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective
Furedi, F. Populism and the European Culture Wars
Beck, U. The Metamorphosis of the World
Zizek, S, Against the Double Blackmail: refugees, terror and other troubles with the neighbours