Audio and pdf files from LSE's summer 2009 programme of public lectures and events.
The Fog of Games: Legacy, Land Grabs and Liberty. Reporting the London Olympics
Contributor(s): Mark Saunders, Martin Slavin | The Olympics are brief and transitory television events that disguise and justify mega projects of vast urban restructuring that permanently distort our cities for the benefit of a few business interests. The common features of these mega projects are unprecedented land grabs, the peddling of myths of 'regeneration' and 'legacy' benefits, the sweeping away of democratic structures and planning restraints, the transfer of public money into private hands, and 'information management' to hide truths and silence critics.
Barack Obama and the World: Saviour or Lame Duck
Contributor(s): Professor Mick Cox | November 4th 2008 marked one of the great political moments in American history when the first black man was elected to the White House. Immensely charismatic and politically astute, Barack Obama immediately raised US standing around the world. However he also confronted the most daunting set of challenges. Catapulted into office as America's answer to George W. Bush and the near collapse of the world financial system following the fall of Lehman Brothers, President Obama faced at least six big tests when he took up office. How to bring order to the Middle East? How to repair America's bridges with the Moslem world? How to deal with a newly assertive Russia? How to work with communist China? How to save capitalism? And how to ensure America's continued position at the head of the international table. Professor Mick Cox of the LSE - one of Europe's leading commentators on the United States - will seek to answer these and any other questions in this wide-ranging address.
The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession
Contributor(s): Professor Andrew Gamble | Professor Andrew Gamble made his early reputation writing on British decline, the theory of Marxism and the rise and fall of that long-debated and most controversial political phenomenon in Britain: Margaret Thatcher and 'Thatcherism'. One of the most incisive analysts of British politics with over twenty books - and a raft of prizes to his name - he reflects here on the deeper causes of the current world economic crisis and why the crisis has been especially acute in the Anglo-American world. This public lecture is timed to coincide with the publication of his long-waited new book - The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession - and promises to be a memorable one.
In Search of Islam's Civilization
Contributor(s): Ali A. Allawi | The increasing religiosity of Muslim societies and the spectacular rise of political Islam have served to mask the seeping of vitality from Islamic civilization. If Muslims do not muster the inner resources of their faith to fashion a civilising outer presence, then Islam as a civilisation may indeed disappear. Ali A. Allawi has served as Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance in the Iraqi postwar governments. A graduate of Harvard University and MIT, he is Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford. He has written two books: The Crisis of Islamic Civilization (Yale 2009) and The Occupation of Iraq (Yale 2007).
The Idea of Justice
Contributor(s): Professor Amartya Sen | Amartya Sen explores the ways in which, and the degree to which, justice is a matter of reason, and of different kinds of reason. This event marks the launch of Professor Sen's new book The Idea of Justice. Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard and an honorary fellow of LSE. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1998-2004. His books include Development as Freedom (OUP), The Argumentative Indian (Allen Lane/Penguin) and Identity and Violence (Allen Lane/Penguin), and have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Human Security in an Age of Turbulence
Contributor(s): Mary Kaldor | Mary Kaldor is a prolific author who has written widely on a range of key issues over the years ranging from the 'Baroque Arsenal' (1982) a study that challenged the logic of militarism and the belief that more weapons meant more security, through to her groundbreaking 'New Wars'(1999) a book that reveals the new forms that organized violence will take in the 21st century. Mary Kaldor today is one of the most influential and respected alternative voices in the field of applied international politics who over the last few years has forced the wider policy community to rethink the meaning of war and the foundations of what she has called 'human security'. An immensely influential figure who has shaped debates at both the United Nations and in the European Union, in this long awaited public lecture she will reflect on what it means to be secure and how security can be achieved in an age of increasing turbulence.