For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

The conference "Antiliberal Internationalism in the 20th Century: Beyond Left & Right?" will be hosted from 11 - 13 January 2023 in Amsterdam.

Event details of Antiliberal Internationalism in the 20th Century: Beyond Left & Right?
Start date 11 January 2023
End date 13 January 2023


Since the turn of the millennium, all over the globe new forms of international collaboration have surfaced that explicitly position themselves against the liberal international order established after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Examples of this new antiliberal internationalism are the Congress of European ‘conservative nationalists’ held in Rome (February 2020), the Visegrád Group meetings which offer a platform for self-proclaimed ‘illiberal’ government leaders from Central Europe, the nebulous network of far-right ‘traditionalist’ anti-liberal intellectuals including the likes of Alexandr Dugin and Steve Bannon, the leftist anti-neoliberal and anti-austerity Greek-Spanish collaboration between Syriza and Podemos and its grassroots constituencies, cross-border far-right protest movements such as Pegida, the Russian-Chinese strategic alliance, or the ‘Buddhist international’ in South-Eastern AsiaIn scholarship, these and other contemporary examples of antiliberalism across national boundaries are frequently explained as consequences of the recent cultural backlash, tendencies of authoritarianism and the populist zeitgeist against the backdrop of globalising societies. However, in hindsight, antiliberal internationalism is not necessarily a timely or new phenomenon – nor can current manifestations of it be understood or explained detached from historical precursors.

Programme (provisional)

Wednesday 11 January

3:00-4:00pm Keynote 1: Global Sources of Anti-Liberalism by Glenda Sluga (European University Institute/University of Sydney)

4:00-4:30pm Coffee Break

4:30-6:00pm Panel 1: Anti-“Western” Internationalism

  • Chair: Stefan Couperus (University of Groningen)
  • Memtimin Semet and Klaus Weber (Europa-Universität Viadrina): “Shaping anti-liberal modernity: Intellectual transfers between the Kaiserreich, the late Qing and the late Ottoman Empire, and three young Republics”
  • Hanna Jansen (University of Amsterdam): “Westernizing the Humanities in the name of Liberty”
  • Sungik Yang (Harvard University): “Skepticism of Western Liberalism in South Korea, 1945–1960”
  • Tomohito Baji (University of Tokyo): “Ecological internationalism? Postcolonial and archipelagic visions of the Pacific”

6:00pm Borrel / Drinks

Thursday 12 January

9:30-10:30am Keynote 2: Contemporary “Illiberalism” by Marlene Laruelle (The George Washington University)

10:30-11:00am Coffee Break

11:00am-12:30pm Panel 2: Religious Internationalism

  • Chair: Rachel Johnston-White (University of Groningen) & Chloe Kattar
  • Mriganka Mukhopadhyay (University of Amsterdam): “Occult Roots of Indian National Congress: Religious Nationalism and Alignment of Ideologies in India”
  • Katherine Booska (University of California, Berkeley): “Importing Theocracy: Thomas Molnar, Hungary, and American Catholic Traditionalism”
  • Avital Sicron (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “Love and Disgust: The role of Jewish ideas in Israeli anti-liberalism”
  • Gulnaz Sibgatullina (University of Amsterdam/George Washington University): “‘White European Islam’: An Ideological Experiment”

12:30-2:00 pm Lunch

2:00-3:30pm Panel 3: Inter- and supranational Contestations of Liberal Values

  • Chair: Robin de Bruin (University of Amsterdam)
  • Brandon Bloch (University of Wisconsin-Madison): “Reclaiming Homelands: Pan-German Nationalism and International Refugee Law after World War II”
  • Hugo Canihac (Saint-Louis University, Brussels/Sciences Po): “The Anti-Liberal Origins of Supranational Law: Shaping the legal concept of ‘supranationality’ in France between the World Wars”
  • Jonathan Voges (Leibniz Universität Hannover): “Antiliberal Internationalists in the League of Nations? Gonzague de Reynold, Alfredo Rocco, and Hugo Andres Krüss in the International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation”
  • Iason Zarikos (Panteion University Athens) and Georgios Giannakopoulos (London School of Economics): “Anti-liberal internationalism and the European South during the Global Financial Crash”

3:30-4:00pm Coffee break

4:00-6:00pm Early Career Masterclass with Glenda Sluga & Benjamin Teitelbaum

6:00-8:00pm Conference Dinner

Friday 13 January

9:30-11:00am Panel 4: Neo-traditionalism, Nationalism, and Internationalism

  • Chair: Matthijs Lok (University of Amsterdam)
  • Ya-Pei Kuo (University of Groningen): “‘Culture’ as an Antiliberal Trope in the post-World War I Era”
  • Matt Myers (University of Oxford): “Authoritarian internationalism, middle class politics in Britain, and the National Association for Freedom, 1976-9”
  • Ivan Kalmar (University of Toronto): “Viktor Orbán’s Quest to Lead the West”
  • Discussant: Cemil Aydin (Chapel Hill)

11:00-11:30am Coffee Break

11:30am-12:30pm Keynote 3: Authoritarian and fascist sources of anti-Liberalism by António Costa Pinto (University of Lisbon/ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon)

12:30-2:00pm Lunch

2:00-3:30pm Panel 5: Fascist, Nazist and Colonial Echos in Internationalism

  • Chair: Marjet Brolsma (University of Amsterdam)
  • Katy Hull (University of Amsterdam): “The Symphony of Order: Fascist Corporatism in the United States”
  • Baijayanti Roy (Goethe University): “Nazi propaganda and ethno-religious nationalism: The “German Society” of Aligarh Muslim University”
  • Siobhán Amelia Smith (European University Institute): “Anti-liberal internationalism, and the pariah state of Rhodesia”

3:30-4:00pm Coffee break

4:00-5:00pm Keynote 4: Contemporary “traditionalists” and anti-liberalism by Benjamin Teitelbaum (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Close of conference by Theresa Kuhn (University of Amsterdam)


You can register by sending an email to

Conference organization committee

Marjet Brolsma (University of Amsterdam)
Robin de Bruin (University of Amsterdam)
Stefan Couperus (University of Groningen)
Matthijs Lok (University of Amsterdam)
Rachel Johnston-White (University of Groningen)