New Books Network

Evan Smith

No Platform

A History of Anti-Fascism, Universities and the Limits of Free Speech

Routledge 2020

New Books in British StudiesNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in EducationNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network July 2, 2020 Kirk Meighoo

No Platform: A History of Anti-Fascism, Universities and the Limits of Free Speech (Routledge, 2020) is the first to outline the history of the...

No Platform: A History of Anti-Fascism, Universities and the Limits of Free Speech (Routledge, 2020) is the first to outline the history of the tactic of ‘no platforming’ at British universities since the 1970s, looking at more than four decades of student protest against racist and fascist figures on campus.

The tactic of ‘no platforming’ has been used at British universities and colleges since the National Union of Students adopted the policy in the mid-1970s. The author traces the origins of the tactic from the militant anti-fascism of the 1930s–1940s and looks at how it has developed since the 1970s, being applied to various targets over the last 40 years, including sexists, homophobes, right-wing politicians and Islamic fundamentalists.

This book provides a historical intervention in the current debates over the alleged free speech ‘crisis’ perceived to be plaguing universities in Britain, as well as North America and Australasia.

No Platform is for academics and students, as well as the general reader, interested in modern British history, politics and higher education. Readers interested in contemporary debates over freedom of speech and academic freedom will also have much to discover in this book.

Evan Smith is a research fellow in history at the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia.


Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.