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Department of Government
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Director of British Government @ LSE
Email: Tony Travers
|Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7777

General Enquiries
Email: Martin Rogers|
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7955 6498
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7955 6352

British Government @ LSE Manager
Email: Nicole Boyce|
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7204

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British Government @ LSE

British Government

British Government@LSE is an initiative currently based in the Government Department to promote and develop research on British Government being conducted at the LSE. So far world class speakers have attended our events, talking on a range of topics.
Past events are available on the left hand side menu.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

Click Here |to join the mailing list.

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You can get immediate notification on the availability of an event podcast by following LSE public lectures and events on Twitter, which will also inform you about the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates.

British Government @ LSE General Election 2015 Event Series

General Election 2015: key challenges facing the parties

The British general election of 2015 takes place against a remarkable backdrop of political and economic uncertainty. The country’s major parties are far less dominant than they once were. Insurgency can be seen in Scotland and parts of rural England, reducing the predictability of the outcome in many constituencies. The Scottish Nationalists, UKIP and the Greens are all building support. Constitutional reform will be offered, competitively, in party manifestos. The economy is growing strongly but problems remain, notably the weakness of tax receipts. Deficit reduction means public spending will be constrained throughout the next Parliament, raising major questions about Britain’s on-going defence and foreign policy capacity. In domestic policy, the quality of public services and growing inequality have to be tackled. It is also possible the election result will trigger an ‘in-out’ referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the European Union.

British Government @ LSE, working with departments and institutes across the School, is running a series of panels about the election, taking place between January and April. In each of these events, LSE academics will outline the key challenges facing the country and consider a range of possible responses. The panels and speakers are summarised below.

At each panel, there will be opening contributions from the speakers, followed by an open discussion involving members of the audience. In common with other LSE events, these election debates will be open to the public.

The Future of the British Constitution

Date: Wednesday 21st January 2014
Time: 18:30-20:00
Venue: 32L.G.03. Map|
Speakers: Simon Hix, Tony Travers, Tim Besley, Martin Loughlin
Chair: Kate Jenkins

Past Elections

Date: Tuesday 27th January
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM 2.02 Map|
Speakers: Sir Robert Worcester, David Butler, Vernon Bogdanor, Anthony King

Defence & Foreign policy

Date: Thursday 12 February
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM 2.02 Map|
Speakers: Chris Brown, Michael Cox, Toby Dodge
Chair: Professor Tony Travers


Defence & foreign policyBritain has in recent years been involved in a series of international interventions and peace-keeping efforts. At the same time, the armed forces have been reduced in size. The complexity of the international challenges facing the British government has increased as its resources reduce. This panel will consider the options facing the post-May government and the costs of sustaining an effective role overseas.

Higher education and student funding

Date: Wednesday 18th February
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.4.02 Map|
Speakers: Nick Barr, Tim Leunig, Howard Glennerster, Anna Vignoles, Nona Buckley-Irvine
Chair: Julia Black

Social Policy And Inequality

Date: Wednesday 25 February
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.2.02 Map|
Speakers: John Hills, Julian Le Grand, Tim Newburn
Chair: Professor Tony Travers


The government taking office in May 2015 faces a series of problems. The NHS is widely seen as requiring additional real terms funding; local public services inevitably face further cuts and inequality is increasing. Yet all parties are committed to reducing the government’s deficit, which will entail further reductions to public expenditure. This panel will look at the policies which might be pursued to improve the performance of public services in what is likely to be a period of continuing austerity.


Date: Wednesday 4 March
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.4.02 Map|
Speakers: Charles Goodhart, Nancy Holman, Anne Power
Chair: Christine Whitehead


Britain’s population is rising, particularly in South East England. For many years, house-building has lagged the growth in household numbers. Parties are committed to expanding house-building, though the recent past suggests there are a series of obstacles to delivering the 200,000 homes per annum required. Policy solutions to the housing crisis will be examined in this panel, along with the political and popular obstacles to bringing down house prices.


Date: Wednesday 11 March
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.2.02 Map
Speakers: Damian Chalmers, Maurice Fraser, Simon Hix, Sara Hobolt, Michiel Van Hulten
Chair: Professor Tony Travers

The 2015 general election may be a stepping-stone to a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union. The issue of immigration, linked to the free movement of people within the EU, has become highly salient within British politics. This panel will consider the forces influencing the debate about Britain and Europe and will also hear a view about how the debate is seen from inside the core of the EU. ‘Europe’ will be one of the most important issues affecting the outcome of the 2015 election.

How-to-Run-a-Government book cover
Michael Barber on 'How to Run A Government: so that citizens benefit and taxpayers don't go crazy'


Date: Monday 16th March
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: Old Theatre Map|
Speaker: Michael Barber
Chair: Sir Jeremy Heywood

Billions of citizens around the world are frustrated with their governments. Political leaders struggle to honour their promises and officials find it near impossible to translate ideas into action. The result? High taxes, but poor outcomes. Cynicism not just with government but with the political process.

Why is this? How could this vicious spiral be reversed?

In this groundbreaking book Michael Barber draws on his wealth of experience of working for and with government leaders the world over to present a blueprint for how to run a government. Using contemporary cases from every continent and classic examples from history, he makes a compelling case for a new approach. From Downing Street to Punjab, Charles I to Churchill, this books hows that the solution is less about ideology and more about sustained priorities, solving problems as they arise and not giving up when the going gets tough.

By applying the lessons set out in the eight chapters of this entertaining and insightful book, governments of all political persuasions can dramatically enhance their capacity to deliver results and control costs, thus delighting citizens rather than driving them crazy.

Sir Michael Barber is the co-founder of Delivery Associates and Chief Education Advisor at Pearson. Over the last two decades he has worked on government and public service reform in more than 50 countries. From 2001 to 2005 he was the first Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit in the UK. His previous books include Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain's Public Services.

The Economy

Date: Wednesday 18 March
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.4.02 Map|
Speakers: John Van Reenen, Jonathan Wadsworth, Alan Manning
Chair: Oriana Bandiara


Britain suffered a long and deep recession followed by a significant rebound in 2014-15. But the post-May Chancellor will be under pressure to cut the £90bn deficit, improve productivity, strengthen the country’s skills base and to ‘rebalance’ the economy. External threats to longer-term recovery remain substantial. This panel will analyse the problems facing the incoming government and, building on the report of the LSE Growth Commission, propose solutions.




Research Seminars

We recently ran a new Research Seminar programme where LSE academics discussed their work in their area of British Government. 

This series of events is now over but we hope to begin again soon.

All past seminars are available here.| 

Tony Travers

GV311: British Government|

The British Government course (GV311) is a new Undergraduate Course with open public access.

Members of the public are welcome to attend any or all of the weekly lectures or to follow the course online. The whole event and seminar package will appear online after they have been edited and upload.



Why British Government@LSE?

The LSE has always been closely involved in the study, advice and development of British Government with many of our students moving into careers in civil and public service as well as politics, and many of our most notable Professors have contributed to the understanding and development of British Government and politics.

GV311: British Government|
Election Experts Blog