In the wake of the twin shocks of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, right-wing populism has become the focus of much political analysis.
Here in Australia, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and a number of minor parties of the right have attempted to stir populist outrage, despite the right-wing inclinations of the Abbott and Turnbull governments. For some, this assertively hard-right sentiment seemed to appear out of nowhere.
This talk will look at the pivotal role of four single-issue advocacy groups – the H.R. Nicholls Society, the Samuel Griffith Society, the Bennelong Society and the Lavoisier Group – in changing the way Australians think about certain issues. Though they often flew under the radar, these organisations were important actors in a long process in which Australian conservatism took on a more radical, reactionary character.