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Nationalism, populism and identities:
contemporary challenges

4th, 5th & 6th April 2022

Jesus College, University of Oxford


Fide presents its International Congress II on Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges to be held at Jesus College, Oxford University, in April 2022.

Fide Foundation is the leading legal-economic think tank in Spain. Operating out of Madrid, its membership is composed of leading professionals from the private and public sectors in Spain and beyond, as well as prominent academics and business leaders. In September 2018, Fide’s international committee began to steer work on its inaugural overseas Congress about “AI, Big Data and the Digital Economy: Challenges and Opportunities” which took place at Jesus College, Oxford University, in September 2019. The published conclusions of the first overseas Congress may be found here.

We now present the second edition of Fide’s International Congress, directed by Christopher Muttukumaru and Cristina Jimenez Savurido.  The Congress has been guided by the strategic advice of Fide’s International Academic Council. The IAC is multidisciplinary in approach, learning from international collaboration, and developing cross-border solutions.



The objective of this Congress is to bring together a group of professionals with extensive experience in the subjects proposed for deliberation (see below) so that, from different perspectives, drawing on areas of knowledge and expertise from several countries, in-depth discussions and analyses of the issues can take place. Ultimately, the Working Groups will articulate a set of conclusions and recommendations to be published and disseminated among decision-makers, organizations, industry leaders, and experts with a view to their consideration by the competent authorities.



The overarching topic of the congress is Nationalism, populism, and identities: contemporary challenges. In the global context, the growth of nationalism and populism is one of the greatest challenges facing not only Europe but also North and South America and the Asia Pacific. This can be a destructive force if it means that states retreat into an isolationist mindset and away from effective multilateral solutions to perceived cross-border problems.

Nationalism is a form of identity politics and is not to be assumed to be always a negative force. However, the increasing tendency towards radical nationalism and in turn exclusionist populism, even when presented as nationalism, constitutes a major challenge to democracy and the rule of law. Populism can undermine trust in institutions and give rise to intolerance within society. Within the European context, and in addition to the broader international context, there are specific, disturbing populist trends in the EU and the EU’s focus has inevitably turned more strongly towards a number of internal challenges which might pose a serious challenge to the EU’s central aims and its adherence to fundamental rights.

A form of nationalism or identity politics is also discernible in the movement in Europe for more devolved powers or for secession and independence. A related question is whether opportunities for devolved administrations on the international stage might provide a dynamic alternative to independence, whether on their own or in conjunction with purely national or sub-regional measures.

Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the greatest economic and health crisis seen in 100 years. Within the EU and beyond it, emergency powers have been used to close borders unilaterally and to restrict people movement on the ground of protection of public health. The problems over the EU’s Covid-19 rescue packages evidenced at the Council meeting in July 2020 have exposed severe fault lines in EU solidarity, leading some commentators to question the future of the common European project.

The congress is organized under the following topics of discussion, for which working groups of relevant experts have been organized to draft the pertinent papers.

  1. Working Group: Nationalism and populism at the national level.
  2. Working Group: Constitutional, legal, or governance questions in the context of Nationalism.
  3. Working Group: Challenges to the EU: refugee externalisation policies: nationalism and humanitarianism.
  4. Working Group: Nationalism in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic.
  5. Working Group: Nationalism, populism, and the economy:
    1. Sub-group 1: Globalisation and Populism
    2. Sub-group 2: The Future of the EU Project
  • Sub-group 3: Populism and Inequality

The Congress will also cover other cross-cutting issues, using free-standing panels on Environmental and climate change issues, with specific reference to the outcome of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 in November 2021 in Glasgow, and on misinformation and free speech in modern democratic societies.



If you would like to know more about the congress, contents or register your interest to assist please contact Victoria Dal Lago ( and Cristina Arribas (


Rellene el formulario y alguien de nuestro equipo se pondrá en contacto con usted brevemente.