Past British Government at LSE events


British Government @ LSE Past Events.

The British Government @ LSE programme has seen a number of high profile speakers and debates on campus.

Below are summaries of the events we have had in 2012 with a link to a page dedicated to each theme.

2015 Election Panel| / A Life In Politics|Elections |The Future Of The Union|Health of our Institutions Today|Hot Topics|Parliamentary Select Committees|Research Seminars|The New Coalition Government|

2015 Election Panels

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 21 January 2015

Time: 18:30-20:00

Venue: 32L.G.03.

Speakers: Simon Hix, Tony Travers, Andrew Blick, Martin Loughlin

Chair: Kate Jenkins


The fallout from the Scottish referendum has been profound for the whole of the UK. The Smith Commission has proposed radical further devolution for Scottish taxes and powers, while there are demands to deliver ‘English votes for English laws’. William Hague, on behalf of the government, has put forward four options for possible reform. Any change to the British ‘constitution’ will be difficult because there is no settled starting-point. This panel will examine options for the future of the British constitution in 2015 and beyond




A Life In Politics|

Nigel Lawson
17th October 2012

Ken Livingstone
28th February 2013

Shirley Williams
5th March 2013


This theme covers the referendum on the AV voting system, the success of the left in Europe and Lord reform.

Future of the Union|

Scotland: ‘Independence and Responsibility: the future of Scotland’ - Alex Salmond

Northern Ireland: Martin McGuinness

Wales: Carwyn Jones

England: Lord Heseltine

London: Boris Johnson

Health of Institutions Today|

This theme discusses the state of the various that make up modern day Britain.

Should the Human Rights Act be replaced with a New Bill of Rights?

Will Competition Improve the NHS?

The Civil Service - Gus O'Donnell

Foreign Policy in the UK Courts - Jonathan Sumption

Will elected police Commissioners improve police accountability?

Hot Topics

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race To Reinvent The State

Date: Monday 10 November 2014
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge
Chair: Professor Tony Travers


Diane Abbott MP on London: A Tale of Two Cities.
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM 4.02
Speaker: Diane Abbott


Book Launch: The History Manifesto

Date: Wednesday 8th October 2014
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: Professor David Armitage, Dr Jo Guldi, Professor Simon Szreter
Chair: Professor Paul Kelly


Revolt On The Right

Date: Monday 19th May
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: Alumni Theatre (NAB.LG.09)
Speaker: Robert Ford


Rebuilding National Parties: A Strategy for Labour in the South and The Tories in the North

Wednesday 30th April
Time: 16:00 - 19:30
Venue: NAB.2.14
Speakers: John Denham, Professor Simon Hix, Peter Kellner, David Skelton, Professor Tony Travers


Twitter: #LSEnational











Scotland and England: What Future For The Union?

Date: 1st July
Time: 14:00 - 18:00
Venue: Clement House 3.02
Professor Patrick Dunleavy, LSE
Professor Tony Travers, LSE
Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh
Professor Iain McLean, University of Oxford
Dr Matthew Goodwin, University of Nottingham
Professor John Curtice, University of Strathclyde

Chair: Deborah Mattinson, BritainThinks

Full Recording|
Full Details|


Patrick Dunleavy
Tony Travers|
Nicola McEwen|
Iain McLean|
Matthew Goodwin|
John Curtice|

The Evolution of electoral studies in Britain

Date: Thursday 20 March 2014
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM.2.02
Speaker: David Butler

Book Launch: Progressive Capitalism

Date: Thursday 6 March 2014
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: CLM3.02
Speaker: Lord Sainsbury

Progressive Capitalism: How to achieve economic growth, liberty and social justice with Lord Sainsbury: what role the state should play in supporting UK industry.
Recordings to follow shortly.
Audio|  Recordings|

These European Elections Matter

Date: Thursday, 23rd January
Time:18:30 - 20:00
Speaker: Nigel Farage

The British Constitution

Date: Wednesday 20th November
Time: 18:30 - 20:00
Venue: NAB.1.04
Speakers: Martin Loughlin and Vernon Bogdanor (Kings)

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


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

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.

Further Details|

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

Further detail: Unfortunately there is no recording of this event but photos are available here|.

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

Date:  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
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.

Mark Hoban - Britain's Labour Market: Confounding The Sceptics
Wednesday 6th March 2013
Wolfson Theatre

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

Nick Robinson: Live from Downing Street: The inside story of power, politics and the media
Live from Downing Street is the BBC’s political editor’s colourful and personal account of the relationship between the men and women who wield power and those whose job it is to tell the public what they are doing.
Download podcast  |

Philip Gould: An Unfinished Life, edited by Dennis Kavanagh.
Professor Dennis Kavanagh launched his new book of essays about the New Labour figure Philip Gould, one of the most important people in the history of the Labour party and modern British politics.

Distilling the Frenzy - Peter 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.

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

Liam Byrne MP used this speech to outline how the Labour party is renewing Beveridge’s original ideas with an emphasis on responsibility rather than entitlement.

Memoirs - Peter Hain

Peter Hain MP discussed his time as an anti-apartheid campaigner, his time in the Labour party, his belief in Libertarian Socialism and his and Labour’s future in conversation about his book of memoirs.

The British Economy: Past and Future - Alistair Darling

Alistair Darling MP discussed his time as chancellor and his thoughts on the future economically and politically.

What About Women?

Ken Livingstone
Victoria Borwick
Brian Paddick
Jenny Jones

Each campaign for the mayor of London was represented in a debate on what each would do on various areas of policy with regards to women, such as the role of quotas.

Parliamentary Select Committees|

This theme concerns the work of Parliamentary Select Committees and their role in scrutinising the executive. It is our intention to have the chair of every Select Committee.

Public accounts select committee - Bernard Jenkin

Bernard Jenkin MP gave an insight into the workings of the Public Accounts Select Committee including the changing role of select committees as a whole with newly elected Chairs. He stressed the role the committee plays in seeking high standards of governance.

Work of the Select Committees - Sir Alan Beith

Sir Alan Beith discussed his experience on select committees and what roles they have to play in the UK parliamentary structure.

Research Seminars|

The research seminar series is a new theme for the academic year 2012/2013. This theme sees LSE academics discuss their own work.

Michaelmas term:

Seminar 1: Week 4
31st October 2012
Tony Travers: 
Devo max for London? Urban government and fiscal autonomy|

Seminar 2: Week 7
21st November 2012
Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey:
Monetary policy and the financial crisis 2006-2009.
Download podcast|

Seminar 3: Week 10
12th December 2012
Adam Oliver:
Nudge verses Budge|

Lent term:

Seminar 4: Week 4
6th February 2013
Julian LeGrand:
Nudge theory and the nanny state
Julian Le Grand Nudge-LSE-2013|

Seminar 5: Week 7
27th February 2013
Patrick Dunleavy:
Reappraising Political Power

Seminar 6: Week 10
20th March 2013
Charlie Beckett:
Political communications in the age of austerity

The New Coalition Government|

This series of events covers the new British Coalition Government