The election of Donald Trump to arguably the most powerful presidency in the world sent shockwaves through the global community. While many rejoiced his challenging of the global order from NATO to China, others feared he lacked the temperament and judgement to lead the US on the world stage.

Since his election, President Trump has been embroiled in constant controversy. He has cut taxes and regulation, blown out budget deficits, eliminated environmental controls and implemented a series of immigration measures that are being challenged in the courts. Internationally, he has withdrawn the US from international agreements and withdrawn US armed forces from Syria.

With an upcoming 2020 presidential election, the competing values, policies and visions of the Republicans and the Democrats have the potential to reshape the United States with reverberations felt in Australia and the world. Our experts will lay out the issues and possibilities, and what the great powers of the past can tell us about the future.


Image of Katharine GelberProfessor Katharine Gelber
Head, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland

Katharine is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, and a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2012-2015). Her expertise is in freedom of speech and speech regulation, with research projects into the operation of hate speech laws, and the effects of counter-terrorism policies on freedom of speech. She has recently published Free Speech After 9/11 (2016) and jointly edited Free Speech in the Digital Age (2019) with Susan Brison.

Image of Professor Alastair BlanshardProfessor Alastair Blanshard
Paul Eliadis Chair of Classics and Ancient History, The Unviersity of Queensland

Alastair is currently serving as director of the program in Western Civilisation at UQ. He has held positions at Merton College, Oxford, the University of Reading, and the University of Sydney. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, the University of Cincinnati, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and the University of Warwick.

His research examines the way the ancient world impacts on the modern. His first book on the West’s fascination with the figure of Hercules has been translated into four languages. He has written on topics as diverse as the myth of the ancient orgy, the impact of Greek statuary on the sport of bodybuilding, and 18th-century travel writing about Greece. One of his abiding interests is the way in which ancient political ideals remain relevant to today’s debates.

Image of Sarah PercyAssociate Professor Sarah Percy
Associate Professor of International Relations, School of Politics and International Studies, The University of Queensland

Sarah's research focuses on unconventional combatants, including mercenaries and pirates. Sarah recently hosted a four-part radio series for ABC Radio National, Why the Cold War Still Matters.




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