Lectures and seminars

The Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) events explore how to tackle global challenges with guests from academia and public policy. The views expressed by speakers at LSE events are their personal views and do not represent the views of the School.

Upcoming Events

Momentum events page

Seizing the Momentum - Fighting Populism in Europe

How to put an end to authoritarianism in EU members?

Friday 23rd February, Vera Antsey Room, Old Building, LSE

Panel discussion with András Fekete-Győr, the young leader of the opposition movement Momentum (Mozgalom) in Hungary, and LSE IGA Professor in Practice, Anne Applebaum. Chaired by LSE IGA Visiting Fellow, Oksana Antonenko.

For more information, click here.

EMF events page

LSE SU Emerging Markets Forum 2018

Friday 9th and Saturday 10th March 2018, De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, London

"The World's Largest Student Conference on Emerging Markets"

Founded in 2009, the LSE SU Emerging Markets Forum was created with a vision of expanding student's understanding of the emerging markets' strengthening role in our world. By bringing together leading academics, executives, investors and representatives of  governments and NGOs from the developed and developing world for an open and thorough discussion, we hope to expand the understanding of emerging markets, build a lasting body of knowledge and provide practical insights that complement academic curiosity.

By gathering some of the most capable change makers with the brightest and best university students and professionals, this two-day long conference drives a critical discussion on the most relevant, timely and pressing global issues and phenomena that drive emerging markets.

The LSE SU Emerging Markets Forum 2018, the 9th in it's series of annual conferences, will deliver relevant and timely discussions through a wide range of fascinating questions.

To register for the event, click here.

NK Forum events

2018 LSE SU North Korea Forum: Before he presses the button

Saturday 24th March, Old Theatre, LSE

Concerned about the issues surrounding North Korea that are threatening the stability of the global community, the LSE SU Korea Future Forum, China Development Society and Japan Society, with support from the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (IGA), have come together to hold the 2018 LSE SU North Korea Forum: Before He Presses the Button.

The forum will uncover diverse issues relevant to North Korea by tackling on not only internal matters such as the sprouting market economy, humanitarian crimes and social structures in North Korea, but also external matters including nuclear crisis, security dynamics, sanctions and negotiations, cooperation and unification.

The Forum will be unique in two aspects. Firstly, top academics and government officials from South Korea, China and Japan will be invited to explicate each country’s stance on a wide range of North Korea issues. On top of that, the Forum will be the world’s most premier conference devoted to North Korea issues. 

17 world-class experts have confirmed their participation, such as the Former 1st Class Agent of North Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Founding Member of the British Embassy in Pyongyang, Former Special Envoy for Six Party Talks, and Founding Member of the U.S. National Committee on North Korea, to name a few. 

For more information, click here.

Events 2018


Yves Mersch

Digital Currencies with Yves Mersch

Thursday 8 February 2018, 10:30am First Floor, The Long Room, 29 Lincoln's Inn Fields London, WC2A 3EE

OMFIF and the London School of Economics & Political Science hosted Yves Mersch for a lecture that focused on central banks, digital currencies and the development of private cryptocurrencies.

Time: 10:30-11:00 Registration and refreshments; 11:00-12:00 Lecture with moderated Q&A


Democracy, Disinformation- and what comes next: Arena Launch

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Anne Applebaum, Professor in Practice at the Institute of Global Affairs, introduced LSE Arena, a new initiative which analyses the root causes of distorted information, polarisation and hate speech and creates the counter-response.

This discussion brought together parliamentarians, technologists and journalists to explain the multi-faceted threat disinformation poses to democracy and outlined Arena’s strategy for building a practical response.

For further information, please click here.


LSE SU China Development Forum 2018 – China’s Perspectives Redefined 

Saturday, 3rd February 2018, Old Theatre, LSE

Welcoming its 10-year anniversary, the 2018 Forum aimed to inspire a series of intellectually-stimulating discussions revolving around how China will reshape her future as it ventures into a new world order. With a view to providing in-depth analyses and answers to the challenges facing China in the new era, the LSE Institute of Global Affairs and the LSE SU China Development Society brought together world-renowned speakers to join the debate and share their invaluable insights across a range of topics at the 2018 CDF.

For further information, please click here.


Events 2017

Tsinghua U

Liberalisation and Financial Resilience in a Global Context

Joint Tsinghua University-LSE workshop, Tsinghua University, Beijing, December 13.

This workshop discussed distortions and the two-sector nature of the Chinese economy;financial liberalisation under such circumstances; and China’s growing engagement in globalfinancial governance – “Global China”.

The event was the initial meeting under a grant of the UK Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and co-organised by Tsinghua University and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It brought together academics from lead Chinese universities and LSE, central bank officials, policymakers and business practitioners.

LSE IGA Director, Erik Berglof and Programme Director, Piroska Nagy Mohacsi took part in this event.


Protests and Political Opposition in Russia and the Screening of the documentary film Nemtsov

Thursday 30 November 2017, 6:00pm, CLM 2.02, Clement House

Speakers: Vladimir Kara-Murza; Prof. Richard Sakwa; Prof. Tomila Lankina; Vladimir Ashurkov Chair: Oksana Antonenko

As Russia approaches its Presidential election in March 2018, a wave of protests and political mobilisation has shone a new light on the state of Russia’s political opposition. Russian opposition activists have experienced a particularly difficult period since the crack down on the last mass protests in 2012 and the introduction of new laws, which have severely limited opportunities for a free expression and association. Many NGOs were branded “foreign agents”, while the Russian state has control over the media and even the internet. Yet a new generation of Russians are defying protest bans to express their stand against corruption and the lack of genuine political competition. With the latest opinion polls indicating that Russians are increasingly looking for change in their lives and a new generation of activists forming across many Russian regions, can the 2018 elections open a new window of opportunity for Russia’s democratic opposition? This event will analyse the evolution of protests movements in Russia, relations between opposition and the state and the prospects for a more open political system in Russia in the future. The panel discussion will be followed by the screening of Nemtsov, a documentary film about the late leader of the Russian opposition, which was directed by his friend and colleague Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is the vice chairman of “Open Russia”, and director of the documentary film Nemtsov

Prof. Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, is author of The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession

Prof. Tomila Lankina is Professor of International Relations at the LSE’s International Relations Department

Vladimir Ashurkov is Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and associate of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

The film is in Russian, with English subtitles. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Alumn logo

The Alliance of Leading Universities on Migration (ALUM) held its 4th conference on November 6-7 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon, hosted by the American University of Beirut (AUB) – Issam Fares Institute, on the theme Universities Responding to the Refugee CrisisThe Conference brought together lead researchers, and policy makers from the ALUM network that spreads across Europe, the Middle East region, and the Americas. The findings and recommendations will be announced in the “Beirut Declaration”. 

Download the agenda

The Conference covered the following themes in the form of session and roundtable discussions:

  • Political and institutional constraints to migration - the political economy and governance of migration and refugees crisis;
  • Migration, displacement, and public perception – can we rebalance and change the migration narrative?;
  • Return migration and vulnerable groups – the role of international community, development policy and federal and local level government interventions;
  • Advocacy, policy and research impact - how can universities and research-based activism be strengthened to better inform and support policy interventions?;
  • Health and nutrition for migrants and refugees;
  • Education – how to avoid a “lost generation” without education? Looking further, should universities support education to people on the move (internally and ultimately globally)?;
  • Private sector engagement globally and locally – what are the main impediments to job sustained creation for refugees and what role for public-private partnerships?;

ALUM drafted a short statement on how best academics can support evidence-based and politically feasible policy-making and the most pressing current issues in migration and refugee crisis at the time of increased anti-globalization and anti-migration sentiment in important parts of the world.

G del Castillo

Obstacles to Peacebuilding - The Economics of Post-War Foreign Intervention

Wednesday 25 October 2017, 6:30pm, TW2 9.04, Tower 2 

Research and policy to date have focused on the security, political and social aspects of the war-to-peace transition. Graciana Del Castillo’s new book, which she discussed in this talk, focuses on “economic transition” and “the political economy” of peace, which is a much-neglected aspect of peacebuilding.

Graciana del Castillo is senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. With a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, she was senior research scholar, associate director of the Center for Capitalism & Society and adjunct professor there for many years. Dr. del Castillo designed the Salvadoran arms-for-land program, which USG Marrack Goulding credited for bringing the peace process back on track, played a key role in jumpstarting the Kosovo economy, devised the concept of ‘reconstruction zones,’ and with different hats advised on peacebuilding strategies for Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti, Syria, and Colombia.

Read the latest entry on the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa blog, in which Graciana del Castillo discusses the importance of economic reconstruction in the war-to-peace transition.

Asias Reckoning

Three Tigers, One Mountain: China, Japan and the US in the Pacific Century 

Thursday 19 October 2017, 6:30pm, TW1 G.01 

For more than half a century, American power in the Pacific has successfully kept the peace. But it has also cemented the tensions in the toxic rivalry between China and Japan, consumed with endless history wars and entrenched political dynasties. Today, the combination of these forces, together with Donald Trump's unpredictable impulses and disdain for America's old alliances, threatens to upend the region and accelerate the unravelling of the postwar order. If the United States helped lay the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Richard McGregor spoke how that structure is now crumbling, something he has chronicled in his new book, Asia's Reckoning.

Red Famine US Cover

Red Famine: Stalin's war on Ukraine, and why it still matters

In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. Professor in practice Anne Applebaum will explore how and why this happened, and explain its lasting importance.

Uri Shani at LSE

The Institute of Global Affairs and the Grantham Research Institute hosted a joint seminar on September 20 with a talk by Professor Uri Shani of Hebrew University and former head of the Israeli water authority on the subject  From Water Wars to Cooperation in the Middle East.


IGA Director Professor Erik Berglof, Visiting Professor Mario Blejer, and Programme Director Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi will participate in a high-level conference on The Uncertain Future of Global Economic Integration, in Reykjavik, Iceland, organised by the Central Bank of Iceland on September 14-15, 2017.



Monday 22 May 2017 6:30pm, Wolfson Theatre, NAB

A political, social, and cultural battle is raging in the Middle East. On one side are the Islamists, those who believe Islam should be the region’s primary identity. In opposition are nationalists, secularists, royal families, military establishments, and others who view Islamism as a serious threat to national security, historical identity, and a cohesive society.

In his latest book Islamism, Tarek Osman explores the development of the largest and most influential Islamic groups in the Middle East over the past century. Why has political Islam managed to win successive elections and how have Islamist groups in various nations responded after ascending to power? Osman dissects the alliances that have formed among Islamist factions and against them, addressing the important issues of Islamism’s compatibility with modernity, with the region’s experiences in the twentieth century, and its impact on social contracts and minorities. He explains what Salafism means, its evolution, and connections to jihadist groups in the Middle East. In a thought-provoking conclusion, Osman discusses the Islamists’ prospects for the future and what that will mean for the region and the rest of the world.

Tarek Osman (@TarekmOsman) is the EBRD’s Senior Political Counsellor for Arab world and Turkey.

Erik Berglof (@ErikBerglof) is Director of the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE.


North Korea: Beyond the Headlines

Saturday, 18th March 2017

The IGA, in collaboration with the LSE SU Korea Future Forum and the LSE SU China Development Society, and supported by the Doosan Group, Embassy of the Republic of Korea and LSE SU Korean Society is hosting an all-day conference, "North Korea: Beyond the Headlines", at LSE on Saturday, 18th March 2017. The conference will provide a platform for detailed discussions on various aspects of North Korea, from North Korean society to the prospects for, and challenges of, Korean unification.

North Korea is one of the most secretive and isolated countries in the world. Little is understood of the state beyond reports of its humanitarian crises and speculation over its nuclear programme development.


The Maidan Revolution – Lessons Learned and Unlearned

Monday 20 February 2017, 5:00PM, Wolfson Theatre

The overthrow of the Yanukovich government through a popular rebellion energised Ukrainian civil society and created expectations that have been hard to live up to. The Russian occupation of Crimea and support of separatists in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions have amplified the political and economic challenges, but the revolutionary fervour still lives on in large parts of Ukrainian society – sometimes propelling further reforms, but sometimes also undermining political consensus and leading to political overreach.

Speakers: Anne Applebaum, Olena Bilan, Mustapha Nayeem, Vladimir Rashkovan, Erik Berglof

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, taking place from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme "Revolutions".


Urbanisation in China – Patterns and Governance

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 6:30PM to 8:00PM

China’s urban population is growing every year by 20 million - roughly a city the size of London and Paris combined together. This has gone together with a breathless expansion of the area covered by towns and cities.

Chinese urbanisation take on particular forms because of two particular institutions: the household registration system (hukou), and public ownership of land. A distinctive feature of the governance of Chinese towns and cities is the nationwide network of grass-roots autonomous organisations to manage and run the daily life of urban communities.  

Speakers: Stephan Feuchtwang, Athar Hussain, Jude Howell, Fulong Wu


LSESU China Development Forum 2017 – A Nation at the Crossroads

Saturday, 11th February 2017, New Academic Building, LSE

For three decades China has grown miraculously, lifting millions out of poverty and elevating parts of the country to standards comparable with the world’s most advanced nations. However, as China’s economy slows, and as underlying structural issues continue to surface, observers both within and outside China increasingly question the so-called ‘China Model’. Standing at the crossroads, China now faces critical choices. The LSESU China Development Forum 2017, co-hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs and the LSESU China Development Society, will bring together more than 25 world-renowned speakers to debate and share their invaluable insights on these issues.

Watch the promotional video

Speakers include: Vince Cable, Cindy Fan, Zhou Hanmin, Jude Howell, Jia Kang, Zou Ming, Adair Turner, Gudrun Wacker


The Future of Europe

Speaker(s): Paolo Gentiloni 
Chair: Professor Julia Black

Recorded on 9 February 2017 at Shaw Library, Old Building.

Watch the video 


Events 2016


The Great Convergence: information technology and the new globalisation

Thursday 24 November 2016, 18.30, Wolfson Theatre

Globalisation is now driven by fast-paced technological change and the fragmentation of production. Its impact is more sudden, more selective, more unpredictable, and more uncontrollable. As Richard Baldwin, Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research,shows inThe Great Convergence, the new globalisation presents rich and developing nations alike with unprecedented policy challenges in their efforts to maintain reliable growth and social cohesion. 

Download/listen to the audio 


Refugees and Economic Migrants: facts, policies and challenges

Wednesday 16 November 2016, 18.30, CLM 402

The refugee crisis in Europe, the campaign that led to the (Br)exit of the UK from the European Union, and the ongoing presidential race in the US are just three major examples of the role played by migration in the current political and media debate. The debate is often harsh and polarized. It oscillates from calls for more openness of borders to promises of building new fences, contrasting the opposite views of those who emphasize the advantages and benefits from migration flows and those who instead consider migrants an unnecessary strain imposed on receiving societies.

Important empirical and theoretical results have been produced in many areas, from the impact on receiving societies to the process of conceiving and implementing migration policies. These findings still need to be fully disseminated among policy-makers and the general public. Written by some of the best scholars in the field, this eBook offers a brief summary of what economists have learnt about migration in several crucial area of policy making and points at all the important questions that still remain to be answered. 

Download/listen to the audio 


Roger Nord, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund’s African Department, will deliver a lecture on November 8, 18:30 pm at LSE on Africa’s growth challenges. Starting in the mid-1990s, an increasing number of countries in Africa have been experiencing robust and sustained economic growth. But with the collapse of commodity prices, these gains have been called into question. Is this a rough patch or the end of Africa Rising? What role are new partners such as China and India playing? How to reap the full benefits of natural resource wealth? How to address large infrastructure gaps? And looking further ahead: how to ensure that the demographic dividend is a blessing not a curse?

Download the programme


Rich People Poor Countries: the rise of emerging market tycoons and their mega-firms

25 October 2016, 18.30, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

In her book, Rich People Poor Countries: The Rise of Emerging-Market Tycoons and Their Mega Firms, Caroline Freund, former Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, has identified and analyzed nearly 700 emerging-market billionaires whose net worth adds up to more than $2 trillion. Freund finds that these titans of industry are propelling poor countries out of their small scale production and agricultural past and into a future of multinational industry and service-based mega firms.


Displacement, Development, and Climate Change: International Organizations Moving Beyond their Mandates

Monday 24th October 2016, 18.30, TW1 G.01

Dr Nina Hall delivered a lecture to a large audience on October 24, drawing on her book, Displacement, Development, and Climate Change: International Organizations Moving Beyond their Mandates. Hall examined the responses of the UNHCR, UNDP and IOM- all three established in a post-war time period- to identify changes in their organisational rhetoric, policy, structure, operations and overall mandate to address one specific new challenge: climate change. Hall’s key finding is that in the last fifteen years these three organisations have moved beyond their original mandates and are assisting people in developing countries affected by climate change even though their member states did not specifically delegate this task. The key driver for change was their staff, the international civil servants. The discussant was Dr Robert Falkner, Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE; the lecture was chaired by Professor Erik Berglof, Director of the Institute of Global Affairs and himself a former high ranking international civil servant. 

Download/listen to the audio


In Search of Truth in the Long Shadows of National Socialism

Thursday 13th October 2016, 18.30, CLM 3.02

During a 6-year intensive investigation Brazilian-born Julie Catterson Lindahl discovered her family’s role in National Socialism and the SS. Her journey of discovery has taken her to Germany, Poland and Latin America, the place of her birth. The focus of her work has been to understand the process of radicalization, and the reverberations of war and violence on the generations that followed. In this lecture Lindahl focuses on the truth about the past she uncovered, what led her to uncover it and what the relevance of this story is for the times we live in.

Download/listen to the audio 


Rethinking Global Finance Initiative:
Strengthening the Research and Policy Voice of Emerging Markets

Thursday 30 June 2016,13:30-15:30, St Petersburg 

This was the third event of the Rethinking the Global Finance Initiative, after previous ones in Mumbai and Shanghai. The Initiative’s launch in Russia wwasopened by the Governor of the Bank of Russia Mme Elvira Nabiullina, in the presence of high level representatives of other emerging market central banks and renowned academics.


What future for work?

Monday 20 June 2016, 18.30, NAB 2.04

Speaker: Stefano ScarpettaOECD Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.


Migration – the Ins and Outs

Monday 20 June 2016, LSE Campus.

Speakers: Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, and LSE researchers Ruben Andersson and Dominik Hangartner.


UN - to be fit for purpose

Thursday 2 June 2016, 2pm,  Shaw Library, Old Building

Speaker: Dr Igor Lukšić. Chair: Professor Erik Berglof

Download/listen to the audio


Rethinking the Global Monetary System

Tuesday 10 May 2016, 10am, Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Dr  Raghuram Rajan. Chair: Professor Erik Berglof

Watch the video

Download/listen to the audio 

Browse storify


Rethinking Global Finance - The Perspective of Emerging Economies

May 5-6, 2016, London School of Economics


Managing Migration - Solutions beyond the Nation State

Siracusa, 18th and 19th April 2016.


The Global Refugee Crisis: a challenge to our common humanity

Our world continues to be challenged by conflict and consequent flows of people across the world. How can and should we respond? Director of SOAS and former Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN Valerie Amos gave this IGA lecture on Thursday 11 February. 

Download/listen to the audio


Migration: Challenge of Our Generation

In this lecture on 3 December 2015, IGA Professor in Practice Peter Sutherland spoke about how we respond to the current refugee and migration challenge will shape how we are viewed when the history of our time is written and how we manage to integrate the migrants will determine our economic future.  


Climate Change and Migration to Europe

At this joint event with the LSE European InstituteLSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the Embassy of France in the United Kingdom, and the European Commission Representation in the UK on the 18 November 2015, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and former President of Ireland, Alain Le Roy, Secretary General of the European External Action Service and Prof Neil Adger of the University of Exeter discussed how climate change, through its impact on economic, social and political factors which drive migration, is creating new challenges for fragile populations.

Watch the video 

Download/listen to the audio  


PostCapitalism: Paul Mason Lecture

We know that our world is in the process of seismic change - but how can we emerge from the crisis a fairer, more equal society? In this lecture on 18 November 2015, Paul Mason (Economics Editor, Channel 4 News) spoke about his new book PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future.

Download/listen to the audio


Russia’s Political and Economic Future with Vladimir Milov

A private discussion session that took place on November 17 on Russia’s political and economic future with Vladimir Milov, Russian opposition politician, publicist, economist & energy expert. 

Former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia (2002), Vladimir Milov is now the Chairman of the 'Democratic Choice' opposition party who has written for Forbes Russia, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist.


For The Times They Are A-Changin’: A Lecture by Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy

At this joint event with LSE Students' Union Italian Society on 11th November 2015, Ignazio Visco spoke about the ‘intangibles’ of economics and the increasingly important interactions between long-term trends and short-term developments.

Watch the video 

Read the lecture


Migration - the ultimate challenge for Europe and the world: Peter Sutherland Lecture

United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration Peter Sutherland spoke at the launch of the IGA Global Migration Initiative on October 22nd 2015. 

Mr Sutherland, former Director General of the WTO and European Commissioner, called for action at the European level and in the United Nations arguing the current situation was an "international disgrace for the developed world".


A Better Life - The Refugee and Migrant Crisis: Solutions between Sovereignty and Integration

This joint event with LSE Students' Union Italian Society on 5th October 2015 was a charity event to raise awareness on the migrant and refugee crisis and listen to the experiences of experts who have been on the field.

Ateendees heard from Sohrab Ahmari (Wall Street Journal), Rear Admiral Aliperta (Italian Representative to International Maritime Organisation), Pamela DeLargy, (Senior Advisor to the UN Special Representative for International Migration), Sanj Srikanthan (International Rescue Committee UK) and chair Barbara Serra (Al-Jazeera). 


Maccoby on Global Leadership 

This joint IGA - LSE Department of Management event on July 2nd 2015 was a panel discussion on what it takes to lead nations and global organisations today and if leadership can be taught.

Joining worldwide authority on leadership Michael Maccoby were Marc Stears (Professor of Political Theory, University College Oxford), Mari Sako (Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School) and chair Stefan Stern (Financial Times).


Striving for a Progressive Israel

Israel's Leader of the Opposition Issac Herzog visited LSE for an IGA lecture on June 19th 2015. 

Download/listen to the audio


Healing Ukraine – Coping with the Wounds of Conflict

This inaugural discussion on March 9th 2015 focused on economic and political aspects of the conflict with a special emphasis on the inherent tensions between eastern Ukraine and the rest of the country.

PowerBreakfast Series

The LSE Power Breakfasts are a private conversation convened by the LSE Institute of Global Affairs to which around 25 distinguished people are invited. The series examines the underlying forces that are causing shifts in global power structures. 

There are normally two speakers at each session, who talk for around 15 minutes each before the discussion is opened to the group. LSE’s most renowned experts as well as other prominent people from around the world come to share their thoughts in private with a diverse group of insightful and influential people.

View a list of past sessions of LSE Power Breakfasts.

Brown Bag Seminar Series

The Institute of Global Affairs hosts Brown Bag seminar series from 12:30-14:00hrs. Attendees bring their own lunch, hear the speaker's new research, followed by Q&A. Refreshments are served just before the seminar.

Brown Bags are free, but require attendees to RSVP

Past seminars


Russian Presidential Elections: Continuity and Change

17th January, 2017

Speaker: Oksana Antonenko, IGA Visiting Fellow

Click here for the presentation


Institutions in development: the case of Poland

15th June, 2016
Speaker: Agnieszka Wysokinska, IGA Visiting Fellow

There is growing evidence that history matters for economic development and that economic fortunes of societies were determined hundreds of years ago. The important question is what are the causes of persistence? There is growing evidence that institutions are the channel through which history operates. Which institutions and the exact mechanism through which they continue to affect development at present is less understood. Apart from institutions, culture has been hypothesised to play a role in economic development and given its slow moving nature would be another candidate for the channel. However, the evidence on the role of culture and the mechanism is scarce. 

To shed more light on role of institutions and culture in the economic development, I exploit the 1815-1914 division of Poland between three neighbouring empires: Prussia, Russia and Austria. The division set the three parts on different paths to industrialisation and differentiated development, institutions and culture. These differences persisted until present. The former Prussian partition is still much more prosperous than the Russian and the Austrian even if we narrow the area to 10km from the historic border. The municipalities on the Prussian side of the border collect 20% more revenues from taxes than the ones on the Russian side. Much of the evidence collected suggest the instrumental role of agrarian reforms, which granted the property rights to peasants in the 19th century but in each of the partitions in a different way. However, culture was also affected during partitions and could play a role. To check if culture is indeed a factor, I exploit the exogenous variation from the post-World War Two forced migration movements from the Russian to the Prussian partition. The results of this exercise suggest that culture does not differentiate the economic fortunes. 

Agnieszka Wysokinska is an Assistant Professor at University of Warsaw. She received her PhD from European University Institute. She is a Visiting Fellow at IGA LSE since March 2016.


Blue Finance: Integrating the ocean into climate policy

7 June, 2016
Speaker: Torsten Thiele, IGA Visiting Fellow

The marine space makes up most of the planet and delivers crucial services but is critically affected by climate change and other stressors. As a result, its ability to absorb CO2 and deliver O2 is compromised, resulting in warming storms and sea level rise in particular coastal zones. Blue finance is about funding measures to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change on oceans. By delivering green coastal infrastructure that protects and supports ecosystem integrity this new approach can help coastal adaptation and climate mitigation. In addition, a global ocean data network can help to overcome gaps in climate modelling and marine governance. The Paris Agreement opens the door for scaling green finance; blue finance is a necessary complementing innovation to achieve scale and impact. The talk will cover the conceptual background, address practical issues and suggest specific institutional proposals.

Torsten initially presented the blue finance concept at the UNESCO World Ocean Day conference and the ocean-climate-platform at COP 21 in Paris. He combines a long experience in infrastructure finance with keen ocean advocacy. Torsten holds degrees in law and economics from Bonn University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge. In 2014 he was a Harvard 2014 Advanced Leadership Fellow and taught a seminar on Arctic Futures at Harvard Kennedy School. He is a  Visiting Fellow at LSE's Institute of Global Affairs since autumn 2015.

This seminar is co-hosted with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.


Sweden and the Refugee Crisis: Two Conflicting Solidarity Ideal and Rights Logics

3 February, 2016
Speaker: Lars Tragardh, Former IGA Visiting Fellow

The great refugee crisis of the fall of 2015 have exposed a fundamental conflict in Sweden between two potent solidarity ideals. One grounded in citizenship and the national welfare state; the other in human rights and a commitment to internationalism. These solidarity ideals are in turn connected to conflicting rights logics: one social rights in T.H. Marshalls sense, rooted in a social contract based on reciprocity, conditions and limits (citizens who work, say taxes and earn social rights); the other human rights, which are limitless, unconditional and borderless (intrinsic rights, not conditional or tied to work and taxation).

Lars has written extensively on migration and democracy and minority rights in recent years. An excellent speaker, he is one of the most visible public intellectuals in Sweden. His book “Is the Swede Human? (with Henrik Berggren) is one of the most influential books in Sweden in recent years. Lars received his Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley in 1993, and later taught European history at Barnard College, Columbia University for ten years, and was affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Europe at Columbia University. He has spent most of last year in Oxford and will be visiting LSE during lent and summer terms.

LSE Migration Working Group Seminar Series

The Institute of Global Affairs hosts a number of LSE Migration WG seminars throughout the Michaelmas, Lent and Summer terms.These seminars are open to staff and postgraduate students from LSE and other universities only.  You are welcome and encouraged to attend all seminars which are free, but require attendees to RSVP.


Migrant Infrastructure and Transactions Economies’

9 June 2016, 14:30-16:00 hrs, COL2.01, Second Floor, Columbia House
Speaker: Dr. Suzanne Hall, LSE Cities   


Immigration and Freedom

23 March 2016, 13:00-14:30hrs, COL2.01, Second Floor, Columbia House
Speaker: Professor Chandran Kukathas, Department of Government