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International Studying Leadership Conference

December 10–12, 2017
University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Leadership, Dissent, and Disobedience: Leaders and Followers in a Populist Age

Recent populist movements in the U.S., U.K., and around the globe suggest that the practices and theories surrounding dissent and civil disobedience are now more relevant than ever. With the Women’s March reaching nearly five million people world-wide, sparking protests not only across the United States, but in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, and even Antarctica, it is clear that the praxis of protest will be a hallmark of this period in the twenty-first century.

In the past five years in particular, the world has seen the rise of populism in multiple countries, with the implementation of social pressures and policies focusing on religious, nationalist, and/or social conservatism. Often simultaneous to these populist movements is an increase in anti-establishment figures on both the right and the left whose followers often establish cults of personality, some of which promote ideologies of exclusivity and isolationism.

In response, demonstrations and activist movements have been appearing across the globe to protest demagoguery, to support or reject the arrival of refugees and immigrants, and in the support or rejection of diversity of religion and sexuality. Given the divisiveness which accompanies and incites these protests, including the rising popularity of isolationist policies and attempts to control religious practices, this conference seeks to create a scholarly space for the discussion of the causes, consequences, and importance of dissenting voices and movements. We are interested not only in the wide range of political and social movements or policy formations, but also in the ways in which leadership practitioners and scholars can address or participate in forms of academic dissent—how scholarship itself might be used as a form of civil disobedience.

Key Dates

Early registration begins: May 1
Deadline to submit proposal: Aug. 31
Standard registration begins: Sept. 11
Deadline to register: Nov. 20
Conference: Dec. 10–12