The Academy 2022: Old Roots of The New Disorder

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 July 2022
Wyboston Lakes Resort, Bedfordshire, MK44 3AL


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is said to mark a new era where long-buried historical disputes have come to the surface once again. Whilst the victory of liberal democracy in 1989 was pronounced the ‘end of history’ and the dawn of a new post-political world, many insisted that the populist upswells of recent years marked history’s return. But the return of war in Europe suggests a definitive end to that period, hot on the heels of insistence that we are moving towards a ‘new normal’ world after Covid. Everywhere we see an insistence that there has been a break with the recent past.

We seem to be living in a new era of changed expectations, changed individuals and changed societies. Are we heading towards a new period of disorder? Are there deeper roots to the current turmoil? Are we to resign ourselves to trends that are presented as out of our control?

The Academy 2022 is a unique chance to explore the contours of our changed political landscape by examining the historical development of these contemporary trends. Returning to the traditional format of in-person discussions, this event will delve into history and literature to examine major moments of crisis and change, the fall and rise again of geopolitical confrontation and the fatalistic outlook that guides many in society. The discussions will also probe the future of the changing political and economic landscape.

This is an opportunity to critically examine the origins, consequences and challenges of a new period of disorder – from geopolitical conflicts to the problems of agency closer to home. Together with people from all walks of life, Academy 2022 will revolve around big ideas, historic books, engaging lectures and great discussions. We will explore the history, philosophy, literature and sociology of our current moment, through a series of lectures and discussions on a range of foundational themes. If we live in a time where nothing can be taken for granted, The Academy 2022: Old Roots of The New Disorder is a chance to return to the key building blocks of social and intellectual life.


From the Battle of Marathon to the end of the American century, our discussions will cover the roots, and the future, of our current geopolitical and social turmoil.

Plenary discussions will cover:
• The revenge of history: why the past never went away (Professor Frank Furedi)
• The origins of international disorder: the breakdown of the post-cold war era (Dr Philip Cunliffe)
• The Western roots of anti-West thinking: from Dugin to Xi (Tim Black)
• The problem of atomisation: from ‘bowling alone’ to lockdowns (Dr Jennie Bristow)
• Reclaiming agency and the return of history (Professor Frank Furedi)

Participants will also have a choice between lectures covering either:

• Democracy in danger: the Battle of Marathon (Dr Stephen Kershaw)
• Decline of empire, rise of conflict: on the road to 1914 (Alan Hudson)
• Against all odds: The Hungarian Revolution 1956 (Dr Calum Nicholson)

• Bordering on crisis: Joseph Roth’s Radetsky March (Sheila Lewis)
• The modernist solution: Joyce’s Ulysses and the search for new foundations (Helen Searls)
• Houellebecq’s Submission: The misery of post-Modernism (Nikos Sotirakopoulos)

For session details and further programme information for the full two-days, please click here.


The books below will help prepare you to engage with the lectures, and may be referred to in the sessions, but there is no requirement to have read them. Use this list to whet your appetite for the day, or return to it afterwards to explore some of the themes raised.

Support the boi charity by buying from Amazon Smile
If you purchase from Amazon already, just click on this link so you can buy from Amazon Smile. We’ll get a small proportion of every purchase you make. Get your books through Amazon Smile and support the boi charity!

• Tim Black, The warped mind behind Russia’s war
• Jennie Bristow, Lockdown loneliness is here to stay
• Philip Cunliffe, Putin is following the Bosnia playbook
• Frank Furedi, The Revenge of History
• James David Hodgson & Phillip Cunliffe, The lethal folly of humanitarian interventionism
• Ivan Krastev, Putin Lives in Historic Analogies and Metaphors
• NS Lyons, World Order Reset: China’s Ukraine Catastrophe, the Rise of Trans-Atlantis, and a New Age of Power

• Herodotus, Histories (esp. books IV-IX)
• Roy Porter, Edward Gibbon: Making History (1988)
• Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992)
• Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (2000)
• Frank Furedi, First World War: Still No End in Sight (2014)
• Jennie Bristow, Stop Mugging Grandma: The ‘Generation Wars’ and Why Boomer Blaming Won’t Solve Anything (2019)
• Branco Milanovic, Capitalism Alone (2019)
• Bruno Macaes, The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order (2019)
• Richard Lachmann, First-Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship: Elite Politics and the Decline of Great Powers (2020)
• Phillip Cunliffe, The New Twenty Years’ Crisis 1999-2019: A critique of international relations (2020)

• James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
• Joseph Roth, Radetzky March (1932)
• AJP Taylor, The Struggle For Mastery In Europe: 1848-1918 (1954)
• Hannah Arendt, Reflections on the Hungarian Revolution (1958)
• Michel Houellebecq Submission (2015)
• Stephen Kershaw Three Epic Battles that Saved Democracy: Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis (2022)

Bungacast, The New Twenty Years Crisis
The Brendan O’Neill Show, How the War in Ukraine Will Change the World
Ideas Matter, Old Roots of the New Disorder – Academy 2022 teaser

Collateral Global, Fear, Trust and the Sociology of Pandemics, ft. Jennie Bristow


You can choose to buy day tickets without accommodation, or tickets that include accommodation at Wyboston Lakes Resort.

Day tickets only include lunch

Tickets with accommodation include:
Brilliant food: a quality breakfast (including continental and cooked options), an extensive lunch, and a three course dinner
Excellent facilities: access to the Wyboston Lakes gym, swimming pool and other amenities during your stay
Social opportunities: staying the night means you’ll experience the full, collegiate atmosphere of the event and get the chance to carry on discussions over dinner and in the bar.

Have a friend who is also interested? You can save up to £50 each by doubling up with a friend. Select ‘double occupancy’ and let us know you’d like a twin room.

Weekend Tickets with Accommodation:

One night, single occupancy £240 Buy tickets

One night, double occupancy £400 Buy tickets

Two nights, single occupancy £325 Buy tickets

Two nights, double occupancy £520 Buy tickets

Day rate (charge per day, no accommodation):

Saturday and Sunday £120 Buy tickets

Saturday only £60 Buy tickets

Sunday only £60 Buy tickets

If you would like to pay a concession rate (for full time students, senior citizens and unwaged), or pay in instalments, please email for further details. 

For further information contact Jacob Reynolds or Geoff Kidder


We are delighted to be able to offer a small number of heavily discounted scholarship places to The Academy 2022, to students or those on low incomes. The scholarship rate is only £50, and is for a single-night weekend stay, allowing you to enjoy both days of lectures and discussions, including full board for your stay. The single-night rate is usually £240.

We would like to thank Helene Guldberg for making these scholarship places available. Helene, a long-time friend of The Academy said, “I am unable to make the event this year but due to my love of The Academy and the difference it’s made to my life, I would like to sponsor as many scholarship places as possible.”

To apply for a scholarship place, please email Please get in touch if you have any queries. Please forward this email to anyone you know who might be interested.