192 episodes

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields

The Reith Lectures: Archive 1976-201‪2‬ BBC

    • Society & Culture

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields

    Civil and Uncivil Societies

    Civil and Uncivil Societies

    The historian Niall Ferguson examines institutions outside the political, economic and legal realms, whose primary purpose is to preserve and transmit particular knowledge and values. In a lecture delivered at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he asks if the modern state is quietly killing civil society in the Western world? And what can non-Western societies do to build a vibrant civil society?

    Producer: Jane Beresford.

    • 57 min
    The Landscape of the Law

    The Landscape of the Law

    The historian Niall Ferguson delivers a lecture at Gresham College in the heart of legal London, addressing the relationship between the nature of law and economic success. He examines the rule of law in comparative terms, asking how far the common law's claims to superiority over other systems are credible. Are we living through a time of creeping legal degeneration in the English-speaking world?

    Producer: Jane Beresford.

    • 53 min
    The Darwinian Economy

    The Darwinian Economy

    The eminent economic historian Niall Ferguson travels to the world's financial centre to deliver a lecture at the New-York Historical Society. He reflects on the causes of the global financial crisis, and argues that many people have drawn erroneous conclusions from it about the role of regulation. Is regulation, he asks, in fact "the disease of which it purports to be the cure"?
    Producer: Jane Beresford.

    • 52 min
    The Human Hive

    The Human Hive

    The eminent economic historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that institutions determine the success or failure of nations. In a lecture delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science, he says that a society governed by abstract, impersonal rules will become richer than one ruled by personal relationships. The rule of law is crucial to the creation of a modern economy and its early adoption is the reason why Western nations grew so powerful in the modern age.

    But are the institutions of the West now degenerating? Professor Ferguson asks whether the democratic system has a fatal flaw at its heart. In the West young people are confronting the fact that they must live with the huge financial debt generated by their parents, something they had no control over despite the fact that they were born into a democracy. Is there a way of restoring the compact between different generations?

    Producer: Jane Beresford.

    • 53 min
    Eliza Manningham-Buller: Freedom

    Eliza Manningham-Buller: Freedom

    In this third and final Reith lecture the former Director General of the security service (MI5), Eliza Manningham-Buller, discusses policy priorities since 9.11. She reflects on the Arab Spring, and argues that the West's support of authoritarian regimes did, to some extent, fuel the growth of Al-Qaeda. The lecture also considers when we should talk to "terrorists".

    • 53 min
    Eliza Manningham-Buller: Security

    Eliza Manningham-Buller: Security

    The former Director-General of the Security Service (MI5), Eliza Manningham-Buller gives the second of her BBC Reith Lectures 2011. In this lecture called " Security" she argues that the security and intelligence services in a democracy have a good record of protecting and preserving freedom.

    • 42 min

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