Welfare after Beveridge: state or civil society

Old Theatre, Old Building


Professor Richard Sennett

Professor Richard Sennett

Professor Sir Julian Le Grand

Professor Sir Julian Le Grand



Dr Michael McQuarrie

Beveridge argued for the primacy of the state in providing welfare.  His critics then and since have argued for more support from civil society, from communal associations, churches, voluntary organisations.  This final lecture shows why obligations to others should be involuntary - and so why state support is fundamental.  The challenge is to cut free of the bureaucratic tangles and institutional corruption which afflict the welfare state today.

Richard Sennett (@richardsennett) is a sociologist and Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. His research interests include the relationship between urban design and urban society, urban family patterns, the urban welfare system, the history of cities and the changing nature of work. He has served as a consultant on urban policy to the Labour party and is a frequent commentator in the press. 

Julian Le Grand held the Richard Titmuss Chair of Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and is now Professor in the Marshall Institute.  From 2003 to 2005 he was seconded to No. 10 Downing Street as a Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister.  He is the author, co-author or editor of over twenty books and has written more than one hundred articles and book chapters on economics, philosophy and public policy.  He has chaired several government commissions and working groups, including most recently the Mutuals Task Force for the Cabinet Office, and the Panels reviewing Doncaster's and Birmingham's Children's Services for the Department for Education.  He has acted as an adviser to the President of the European Commission, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, and the OECD.  In 2015 he was awarded a knighthood for services to social sciences and public service.

Michael McQuarrie is Associate Professor in Sociology at LSE.

This is 1 in a series of 4 public lectures that Richard Sennett will deliver on Welfare After Beveridge. The others will take place on 16 January23 January and 30 January

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBeveridge


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