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

Date & time: Tuesday 8th December 2020, 14:00 – 16:00

Location: Online

What can we learn about equality and rights in 21st century Britain as reflected through Grenfell, Windrush & the Trojan Horse affair?

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 event is hosted by the Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project which seeks to make available open access resources for the teaching of sociology. It emerges out of discussions about the need to broaden our understandings of the past – to be inclusive of colonial and imperial histories – in developing our understandings of the present. The Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project is funded by the Sociological Review Foundation. If you would like to find out more, you can follow the project on Twitter @CSociologies and on Instagram @ConnectedSoc

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