Plenary Presentation:
Robin Grille: The New Fascism: Social Devolution or Growth Panic? (60 min)

See video from Robin Grille on Youtube

Abstract: In recent years we have seen wave after wave of backlash – often violent – against revolutionary social transformations (in gender dynamics especially) and an inexorable growth of globalism and multiculturalism. It seems these forces of social transformation have been met by an almost equal and opposite fervor for conservatism. What are the perceived existential threats to group-identity, and how can we better understand the despair that drives this backlash around the world? Rather than a sociological frame, I wish to apply a psychological – in particular, developmental – frame for understanding this worrisome phenomenon.

Looking more deeply: why do so many of us tenaciously attach to and defend an identity, social, tribal, or national, at times more dearly than our very lives? What might be the childhood roots of identitarian politics, and egoic attachments to ethnicity, nationality, and authoritarianism?

What are the authoritarian parenting and education practices most likely to produce hostile social and political conservatism, and how might we combat these trends through more life-affirming, healthier social policy initiatives and childrearing reforms?

Bio: Robin Grille, BA (psych), Grad Dip Counseling, Dip Int Psych, MAPS is an international speaker, psychologist/psychotherapist, and parenting educator. His articles on parenting and child development have been widely published and translated in Australia and around the world (including in the Journal of Psychohistory). Robin is the author of three books: Parenting for a Peaceful WorldHeart to Heart Parenting, and his newest title: Inner Child Journeys.

Born in Uruguay to Jewish-Romanian parents before coming to Australia when he was 10 years old, Robin has a lifetime fascination with how our diverse cultural norms shape the way we relate to the world. Part psychologist, part historian and part anthropologist, Robin’s work is animated by his belief that humanity’s future is largely dependent on the way we collectively relate to our children.

Being an inveterate traveler and global citizen, Robin’s keynotes and workshops have helped many people – throughout Asia, North America, UK, Australia and New Zealand – to embrace parenting as a transformative, personal growth journey. Drawing from over 30 years’ clinical experience and from leading-edge neuropsychological research, Robin’s seminars and courses focus on healthy emotional development for children as well as parents; while building supportive, co-operative parenting communities.

To find out more about Robin Grille’s work, his books, articles, and seminars, visit