Equality and Rights in 21st Century Britain: From Trojan Horse to Grenfell

8 Dec 2020, 2 p.m.

Stuart Hall, in his account of ‘authoritarian populism’, argued that marketization hollows out civil society by removing services from local participation and determination. This, he argued, left a democratic vacuum that would be filled by populism and scapegoating. This process went much further than he imagined in the 1980s with the subsequent rise of ‘new public management’ and the conversion of local authorities from being the providers of services into commissioners of services through outsourcing. This is the context in which the events of the Trojan Horse affair, the Windrush scandal, and the Grenfell fire took place. The populist ‘othering’ of minorities is central to processes that seek to replace democratic accountability with markets and has serious consequences for understandings of equality, rights, and citizenship.

In this session, we examine what we can learn about the state of equality and rights in 21st century Britain as reflected through the events highlighted and the connections between them.


  • Latifa Akay
  • Dr Nadine El-Enany
  • Prof John Holmwood
  • Lowkey

This was an online event on the 8th of December. The recording of the event will be made available shortly.