Brexit and the Rise of Political Populism

A Global Affairs Committee Webinar

This webinar is not currently available. Email the Professional Development Department to inquire about future availability of this program.

Category: Emerging Trends

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union — after 43 years in membership of the EU and its predecessor organizations — is a major challenge to the political and economic structures of Europe, and to the trading relationships of the world.

The implications of the Brexit vote, and similar populist and anti-globalist movements in other countries around the world, are far reaching, both for the conduct of international business and for what we can learn about running campaigns that appeal to a very wide audience.

Across the world, populists are challenging governments on immigration, globalization and trade. The U.S. is far from immune, with both major parties facing populist challenges and now the possibility of the largest third-party vote for a generation.

Everyone engaged in international business needs to be aware of these challenges. PRSA’s Global Affairs Committee is presenting a webinar to help communicators and leaders and seeks to answer some of the questions arising from Britain’s “Brexit” vote and other populist movements around the world such as:

  • Does the British vote suggest good news for Donald Trump? 
  • Will Britain turn its back on international trade, or pursue a more globalist agenda rather than one focused principally on Europe?
  • Will other countries now hold votes on leaving the EU?
  • Can Angela Merkel’s open approach to refugees be maintained?
  • Will the EU take a more protectionist line, without the voice of relatively liberal Britain?
  • What will be the effects for Vladimir Putin’s populist policies in Russia?
  • Is this “peak populism” or will future voting cycles see a further rise in populist rebellions?


Quentin Alistair Langley, senior lecturer, University of Bedfordshire

Photo of Quentin Alistair Langley

Langley has more than 20 years of experience in PR practice, and a decade’s experience teaching PR in universities. He has been on the faculty in three universities in the UK, and has guest lectured at another nine in the United States and UK.


Oliver S. Schmidt, managing partner, C4CS®

Photo of Oliver S. Schmidt

Schmidt is the managing partner of C4CS® (, a leading strategic communication and crisis management firm with offices in the U.S. and Germany. Schmidt routinely advises executives in regard to high stakes business problems, and makes presentations that discuss the benefits and risks of social media in the context of crisis, issues, and reputation management. A global affiliate of the Center for Global Public Relations (CGPR) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he has been active in a number of professional organizations and currently serves on PRSA’s Global Affairs Committee.



Katerina Tsetsura, Ph.D., associate professor, strategic communication, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma

Photo of Katerina Tsetsura, Ph.D.

Tsetsura has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. She has worked in journalism, public relations and advertising in Russia and the USA. Tsetsura continues to provide strategic counseling to agencies, companies and organizations around the world in the areas of strategic planning and issue monitoring. Tsetsura is a chair of the PRSA Global Affairs Committee and is a member of editorial boards of several leading journals in the field, including Communication Theory and PR Journal.



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