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These European Elections Matter


Speaker(s): Nigel Farage
Date: 23 January 2013

Recorded on 23 January 2014 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage will discuss the importance of this year’s upcoming European elections. Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) is leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Event posting

British-Constitution book cover

Book Launch: The British Constitution


Date : Wednesday 20th November

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Venue: NAB.1.04

Speakers: Martin Loughlin and Vernon Bogdanor (Kings)


This book offers answers to some intriguing questions about the British constitution. What is the nature of this constitution that, almost uniquely in the world today, does not fit the modern template of a constitution? Can a clear account be presented of the workings of a traditional, customary, evolutionary constitution? What are the main practices that have given the British constitution its distinctive character? How has the constitution altered in the face of changes in the nature of the state – from England, to Britain, and then to the United Kingdom – and of its changing relations with the European Union? How is civil liberty protected under the constitution and how has it been maintained in response to pressures arising from modern governmental growth? Has the time now come when it must be conceded that the traditional constitution no longer carries authority and when, in order to protect traditional constitutional values, a modern entrenched constitution is required? And can that goal ever be realized through the type of incremental reform that presently is being promoted under the banner of ‘constitutional modernization’?

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEconstitution

Full Detail


The Politics of Representation


Date: Monday, 18th November 2013
Time: 18.30 - 20:00
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers:  Tanni Grey-Thompson, Simon Hix, Joni Lovenduski, Anne Phillips
Chair: Elizabeth Chapman


In Britain in 2013, only 22% of the elected members of parliament are women. The theme of this public event is Women and Democracy, with LSE Library and British Government @ LSE co-hosting a discussion on The Politics of Representation as part of Parliament Week.  The event will mix an historical perspective of women’s participation in democracy with a discussion on contemporary challenges around gender equality


Tanni Grey-Thompson is a Welsh former wheelchair racer and is a parliamentarian and television presenter

Simon Hix is Professor of European and Comparative Politics and Fellow of the British Academy. He is also Head of Department of Government

Joni Lovenduski is Anniversary Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences

Anne Phillips FBA is Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science in the Gender Institute and Government Department at the London School of Economics.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSE Representation

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email Martin Rogers on or call 0207 955 6498.

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.

Twitter and Facebook

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. Event updates and other information about what's happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page.

Full Detail


Book Launch: At Power's Elbow

Date: Wednesday 13 November 2013

Time: 18:30 - 19:45

Venue: CLM.2.02

Speakers: Andrew Blick, Bernard Donoughue, George Jones


Discreet, inconspicuous, prudent... the perfect Prime Ministerial aide should always be in the background, a low-profile figure unknown outside the Westminster bubble. When reality falls short of the ideal – as when Cameron’s head of communications Andy Coulson was arrested in connection with the News of the World phone hacking affair – the impact upon the Prime Minister can be drastic. However, for as long as there has been a Prime Minister, he or she has depended on the help of a cast of supporting actors who have courted acclaim and scandal in equal measure.

At Power’s Elbow tells their story for the first time, uncovering the truth behind three centuries’ worth of Prime Ministers and their aides. Its subjects range from the early media-managers and election-fixers of Sir Robert Walpole, to the teams supporting the wartime premierships of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, to the semi-official ‘Department of the Prime Minister’ established under Tony Blair.

Packed with unusual characters, this is a fascinating peek at the power behind the political throne – the history of the most mysterious and misunderstood job in British politics.

















Andrew Blick is Lecturer in Politics and Contemporary History at the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies, King’s College London. He has worked as an assistant in the Prime Minister’s Office and has written extensively about British Politics.

George Jones has been Emeritus Professor of Government at LSE since 2003 and was Professor of Government between 1976 and 2003.  He has written and edited a number of books on British government.

Bernard Donoughue was a senior adviser to the Labour governments of 1974-79. He is an author and former LSE lecturer who was created a life peer in 1985.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email Martin Rogers on or call 0207 955 6498.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEPowerselbow

Audio Recording


Book Launch In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government By Matthew D'Ancona


Date: Thursday 31 October 2013
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The revelatory inside story of Britain's coalition government, that cuts right to the heart of the Lib Dem/Tory struggle, from a renowned political journalist. With exclusive, unprecedented access to all the major senior figures, including David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg, D’Ancona tells the truth behind key relationships, the U-turns, the shifts in policies, the dramatic fights and arguments and the warring within the party.

Matthew d'Ancona is the award-winning political columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, a position he has held since 1996. He was deputy editor of that paper before becoming editor of The Spectator in 2006. During his editorship, the magazine enjoyed record circulation and he was named Editor of the Year (Current Affairs) in the 2007 BSME awards.


Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event, email

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEcoalition


The Blunders of our Governments book cover
Book Launch

Anthony King and Ivor Crewe: The Blunders of Our Governments

Date: Monday 16th September 2013

Time: 18:30 - 20:00

Venue: NAB 1.04


This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email Martin Rogers on or call 0207 955 6498

Further detail

Unfortunately there is no recording of this event but photos are available here.

Aircraft Sign
Where should we put Britain's hub airport(s)?

Date and Time:  27th June 2013 18:30-20:00

Venue: Wolfson Theatre

Chair: Tony Travers


Paul Kehoe, Bridget Rosewell, Colin Matthews, Roger Vickerman

Further details



Book Launch Charles Moore: Margaret Thatcher- Not For Turning

Date: Thursday 25 April 2013
Time: 6.30-7.30pm
Venue: LSE Old Theatre
Speaker: Charles Moore
Chair: Tony Travers 

Not For Turning is the first volume of Charles Moore's authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century and one of the most influential political figures of the postwar era.


Tony Travers, Julian Le Grand, Mark Hoban
Mark Hoban - Britain's Labour Market: Confounding The Sceptics

Date: Wednesday 6th March 2013
Time: 18:30-20:00
Venue: Wolfson Theatre
Chair: Julian Le Grand

Presented by  British Government @ LSE and LSE Civil Service and Public Policy Alumni Group.


The-Politics-of-Coalition Book Cover
Book Launch: The Politics of Coalition

Date: Monday 3 December 2012
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue:  CLM4.02, Clement House
Speakers:  Robert Hazell and Ben Yong
Chair: Kate Jenkins

This event was a lecture by Robert Hazell and Ben Yong who spoke about the findings of their book, The Politics of Coalition. 

Robert Hazell is professor of government and the constitution at University College London, UK, and the director of the Constitution Unit in UCL's School of Public Policy. 

Ben Yong is a research associate at the Constitution Unit. 

Download the presentation from this event

Philip-Gould-An-Unfinished-Life bookcover
Philip Gould: An Unfinished Life

Date: 19 November 2012   

Edited by Dennis Kavanagh. Featuring special guest
Andrew Cooper (Director of Strategy, Prime Minister’s Office)

Distilling-the-Frenzy-Writing-the-history-of-one's-own-times bookcover
Distilling the Frenzy 

Date: Thursday 11 October 2012
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Lord Hennessy

Peter Hennessy examined the special considerations that apply to writing the history of one’s own times, with particular reference to themes running through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He spoke about Britain’s impulse to punch well about its weight in the world; at the sustenance of the nuclear weapons policy which has accompanied the impulse and at the intelligence operations which underpin it. He also looked at the contrasting styles and achievements of post-war prime minsters from Clement Attlee to David Cameron.

Twitter hashtag #LSEfrenzy

See photos of the event . A podcast is available here . A video recording is available here .

Ending the Housing Crisis: Should we ever build on the Green Belt?

This is a co-badged event with:

Date: Wednesday 27 June 2012
Time: 6:30-8:00
Venue: LSE Wolfson Theatre
Speakers: Professor Henry Overman (LSE), Alex Morton (Policy Exchange, Senior Research Fellow for Housing & Planning), Professor Anne Power (LSE) & Tony Burton (Urban Task Force).

Chair: Professor Christine Whitehead (LSE)

House prices in Britain remain exceptionally high. We urgently need more housing, but where should we build it? Can we meet our needs by redeveloping existing built up areas? Or does the problem call for more radical solutions.

There is a long-running and fierce debate in England about the protection of green land in the context of demands to build more housing. Britain is a relatively densely-populated country with constraints on land use, leading to high property values and thus to pressure on house prices and rents. BG@LSE is holding a debate – putting the case for and against using green land (particularly the Green Belt) for more housing and business premises. LSE academics and outside experts will put each side of the debate, allowing contributions from the floor and a lively discussion.  

Twitter hashtag #LSEgreenbelt.

Photos of the event are available here . A podcast is available here .

British Government @ LSE and Fawcett Society pre-election mayoral debate: What About Women?

Date: Monday 23 April
Time: 6:45-8:15pm
Venue:  Old Theatre

Ken Livingstone (Labour Candidate for Mayor of London)
Victoria Borwick (Conservative London Assembly Member)
Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat Candidate for Mayor of London)
Jenny Jones (Green Party Candidate for Mayor of London)

In the run up to the London Mayoral Elections, the Fawcett Society invited the leading mayoral campaigns to debate what they will do for London’s four million women.

The Mayor of London is the UK’s most powerful directly elected politician, managing a gross budget of £17 billion.  The way these resources are used could make a huge difference.  The Mayor can affect planning, transport, policing and a number of other services in ways that particularly affect women. 

Hashtag: #whataboutwomen

Photos of the event are available here . A podcast of the event is available here , a video here .

Alistair Darling
The British Economy: Past and Future


Date: Wednesday 7 March 2012 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Speaker: Alistair Darling MP
Chair: Tim Besley 

Alistair Darling is MP for Edinburgh South West and former Chancellor of the Exchequer. This event was an interview/conversation covering the recent past and immediate future of the British economy. Mr Darling covered the prospects for the economy at home and in Europe, lessoned learned from his time in office, what British can learn from Germany, and his reasons for believing that Scotland would be better off within the United Kingdom than outside it.

Photos of the event can be found here and a podcast of the event is also available.

Testimony from an attendee:

"A really good event. Darling spoke quite rapidly, making no concessions to anyone ignorant of history or basic economics, and imho showed himself the brightest Chancellor …we have had in the last half century… 

Inevitably most of the discussion on 'The British Economy - Past and Future' focussed on his period in office rather than the future. …

Great event, all thanks to the organisers and volunteer stewards. Afterwards, I was able to grab 60 seconds of conversation with Gus O'Donnell (now Lord GO'D) as he fled the building so as not to be late for his wife's cooking. You don't get these opportunities at lectures in other universities!" 

Peter Hain Outside In
Outside In: in Conversation with Peter Hain MP

  Monday, 30 January 2012
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Speaker: Peter Hain MP
Chair: Professor Tony Travers

During a discussion on his latest book Outside In, former anti-apartheid leader turned Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Hain recalled his campaigning days, receiving a letter bomb, being prosecuted in two political trials and his role in negotiating the historic 2007 settlement in Northern Ireland. Peter Hain is the Labour MP for Neath and Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.


Liam Byrne
How Labour's Traditions can Renew Beveridge for the 21st Century 


Date: Monday, 23 January 2012
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Speaker: Liam Byrne MP
Chair: Professor John Hills

As we enter the year of the Beveridge Report's 70th Anniversary, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne MP, sets out Labour's case for welfare reform.  Liam Byrne is Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Coordinator of Labour's policy review. Elected in 2004, Liam held several ministerial positions in the Labour Government before becoming Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2009.

Before entering politics Liam co-founded the eCommerce business, and worked as a banker with NM Rothschilds. He was a Fulbright scholar at the Harvard Business School where he took his MBA with honours.

Listen to a podcast of Liam Byrne's speech.

More information....    


B hogan-howe
Total Policing: The Future of Policing in London


Date: Monday 16 January 2012 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Speaker: Bernard Hogan-Howe
Chair: Professor Tim Newburn

Bernard Hogan- Howe is the current commissioner of the Met and former chief constable of Merseyside Police. He spoke about his hopes and aspirations in relation to the future of policing in the capital. This lecture forms part of our Health of our Institutions Today series.

The podcast and video of this event is now available online .


A More Secure World - from neighbourhood to globe

Date: Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Speaker: William J Bratton CBE
Chair: Tony Travers

Famed as a 'supercop', Bill Bratton has held Police Commissioner roles in Boston and New York City and been Chief of Police in Los Angeles during a career spanning forty years in police departments. Mr Bratton opend his speech with a biography of his rise as an influential police officer, and effective police leader. Outlining the formation of the ideas he has used to great effect in tackling crime in three major US cities, he spoke of the influence that talking directly to community members had on his deployment of resources, his so-called 'broken window policy'. Mr Bratton described the large impact the heritage of British policing had upon his policies; with the beat patrol model, backed up by locally stationed response cars, forming the basis of a system that enabled him to deploy officers quickly to prevent crime – putting 'cops on the dots'.

The emphasis throughout Mr Bratton's career, highlighted in this lecture, was the importance of the police role in preventing crime. In a popular, and effective, sound-bite he summarised this, stating police cannot 'arrest their way out' of problems. When asked about penal policies and reform he reiterated that police focus must remain on preventing crime before arrests are made, not on what occurs once criminals become prisoners. He emphasised the economic impact of this policy – reducing the tax spend on incarcerated persons, ensuring there are more economically active citizens, and working with the community to create streets which encourage local business investment through increased security and freedom of movement.

You can listen to a podcast of Bill Bratton's speech and the ensuing Q&A session. To read Bratton in his own words, do visit the blog .


The Big Society and the Good Society: rethinking the place of the state in British society


Speakers: Lord Glasman, Jesse Norman MP
Chair: Professor Paul Kelly

David Cameron has championed the 'big society' as his big idea for government; Ed Miliband has countered with the 'good society'. Two of the thinkers behind these concepts debate what is at stake in rethinking the role of the state in contemporary Britain: Maurice Glasman, raised to Baron Glasman of Stoke Newington and of Stamford Hill in 2011, Jesse Norman is MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire and author of The Big Society.

This event was recorded on 14 June 2011 in Old Theatre, Old Building
Available as: mp3  (43 MB; approx  93 minutes)
Video at: Videos  or via LSE You Tube
Further Details available


To Cut or not to Cut; Is that the question? Debating the Comprehensive Spending Review


Chair: Professor Paul Kelly, LSE
Speakers: Mr Martin Wolf, Financial Times, Professor Tim Besley, Economics Department, LSE, and Dr Jonathan Hopkin, Government Department, LSE.
Date: Friday, 4th February 2011

The UK now faces the largest cuts to public spending since World War II, and it is clear that the austerity measures introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will fundamentally redefine the relationship between the citizen and the state. This debate will focus on the economic and political implications of the unprecedented fiscal adjustment undertaken by the government, and what they might mean for the future of the UK and its people.


Conservatives History
"Conservative Leadership - What Works and What Doesn't" 

On 14th November 2011, Author Robin Harris talked about his new book on the history of the Conservative Party. 

Mr Harris was Director of the Conservative Research Department from 1985 to 1988 and a member of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit from 1989 to 1990. He helped draft the Conservative Party manifesto for the 1987 general election. Since then he helped Margaret Thatcher to write her memoirs, and has written for the Daily Telegraph and Prospect

Click here to listen

More information available here


The Coalition and the Constitution

The SU History Society in association with British Government@LSE

Speaker: Professor Vernon Bogdanor
Chair: Professor Tony Travers
Date: Thursday, 24th March, 2011

The formation of the coalition government in May 2010 marked a number of firsts. The wide-ranging number of political reforms embarked on by the new inter-party bodies, especially fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on the alternative vote electoral system have the potential to permanently alter the face of the British political system.

In addition, moves towards a directly elected House of Lords and increased localism have also been mooted by the new government. The effects of these reforms form the basis of Professor Bogdanor's new book, "The Coalition and the Constitution", due to be published at the end of March 2011.


The Verdict: did Labour change Britain?

: Polly Toynbee, David Walker

We've had Mandelson's memoirs, Blair's book and Brown biographies: in this lecture Polly Toynbee and David Walker look at what the Labour government in power from 1997 meant for people's lives by charting what it accomplished. Polly Toynbee is an author and a political and social commentator for the Guardian. David Walker edits Public and was formerly chief leader writer of the Independent. They are co-authors of The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain?

This event was recorded on 16 November 2010 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Available as: mp3 (33 MB; approx 71 minutes)
Further information available


Brown at 10

Speaker: Professor Anthony Seldon

Gordon Brown's three years at No.10 were the most turbulent of any premiership in the postwar history of Downing Street. In Brown at 10, Anthony Seldon tells for the first time the full, compelling story of the astonishing end of Gordon Brown's tenure, and with it the demise of the New Labour project. This will be a frank, authentic and penetrating account of a remarkable political era by one of Britain's foremost political and social commentators.

This event was recorded on 7 October 2010 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House Available as: mp3 (33 MB; approx 73 minutes)  


Launch of the LSE Civil Service, Government and Public Policy Alumni Group


: Rt. Hon. Margaret Hodge MBE
Jeremy Heywood CB CVO

The official launch of the new Civil Service, Government and Public Policy Alumni Group took place on Thursday 25 November, and got the group off to a fantastic start.

The audience of over 150 London-based members was welcomed by group chair Rosehanna Chowdhury (LLB 2004, LLM 2005), who outlined the story behind the establishment of the group, and its vision for 2011.

Everyone then heard fascinating insights from guest speakers Margaret Hodge MP (BSc Government 1986), Member of Parliament for Barking and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, and Jeremy Heywood (MSc Economics 1986) , Permanent Secretary in No. 10 Downing Street.

Report and further photos