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The Radical Transparency of the American Republic

LSE IDEAS Philippe Roman Chair Inaugural Lecture   

Tuesday 21 October 2014, 6.30 - 8.00pm, Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Matthew Connelly; Chair: Professor Arne Westad

For most of its history, the U.S. government’s commitment to transparency stood as a radical counter-example to the rest of the world. Washington, Madison, and Lincoln were in some ways as radical as Julian Assange in their commitment to transparency. During the Civil War, one hundred and fifty years before Wikileaks, the State Department routinely made public normally secret diplomatic correspondences. When the White House invoked executive privilege, legislators and citizens were remarkably determined in challenging it, and historians were unusually effective in exposing the self-interest hidden by official secrecy. More recent invocations of national security therefore stand in sharp contrast with America’s founders and their principles.

This public lecture is first in the LSE IDEAS Philippe Roman Lecture Series 2014-15. 

The event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information please email us here.

Audio Podcast



Professor Matthew Connelly is Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for 2014-2015.




Professor Arne Westad is the Director of LSE IDEAS.



Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE. Map.


Inaugural Lecture

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