Past Events

Here you can find a selection of our past events. You can also find lots of recordings of these and other events on our podcasts page| or the main LSE podcasts page|.



Monday 1 December 2014, 6.30-8pm (podcast)|

Brazil: inclusive sustainable development?

Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
Speaker: Brazilian Minister for Strategic Affairs, Marcelo Neri
Chair: Professor James Putzel

About the event

Minister Neri will talk about the growth of social welfare in Brazil during the last twenty years, and its determinants. How have growth and distribution of incomes evolved in Brazil? What has been the role played by various public policies (such as income transfers, housing, technical education etc)? How have different groups (organized by gender, race, region etc) performed? Is Brazil becoming a middle class country? What about the middle income trap with respect to other BRICS countries? How sustainable are the observed changes? What is the new agenda on social policies in the country for the next 10 years?

About the speaker

Marcelo Neri is Minister for Strategic Affairs for Brazil; has a PhD in Economics from Princeton University. Founder of the Center for Social Policies (CPS) at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV); teaches at  EPGE/FGV. Edited books on Microcredit; Social Security; Diversity; Rural Poverty; Bolsa Familia; Consumption and Middle Class. He was secretary general of the Council of Economic and Social Development (CDES) and president of the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea). He evaluated policies in more than two dozen countries and designed and implemented policies at three government levels in Brazil.

More information

Suggested hashtag for the event #LSENeri


Thursday 27 November 2014, 6.30-8pm

SmartAid: innovating the approach to development

Venue: New Academic Building, Room 2.06, LSE
Speaker: John Rendel
Chair: Marwan Naser

About the event

John Rendel, CEO and Founder of Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS)| will be speaking on PEAS' unique and innovative approach to development. Founded on the pillars of access, quality and sustainability, PEAS builds and runs secondary schools in some of the most disadvantaged, isolated communities in rural Africa. After that, the schools can run themselves through a combination of a Private Public Partnership grant, low day school fees and income generating activities such as farming and horticulture. John will be speaking on PEAS's SmartAid model, the opportunities for collaboration in development and how sustainable approaches form the basis on the post-2015 UN Development Agenda. 50 seats available.

About the speaker

John Rendel is the founder and CEO of PEAS, a rapidly growing and multiple award winning social enterprise that widens access to secondary education in Africa. John studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College, Oxford. A trip during a university vacation to East Africa led John to found a low-fee, not-for-profit secondary school in Uganda. The success of that school led to the development of PEAS’s ‘SmartAid’ approach.

After graduating, John joined the Teach First programme and taught secondary school mathematics in Camberwell, London for two years. In the summer of 2006, John left the classroom and began working full time on 'growing PEAS'. John has gone on to win the Teach First Ambassador Award, an Unltd Social Enterprise Award, to become a member of the Courvoisier Future 500 and the Rockefeller Top One Hundred Next Century Innovators. In 2013, PEAS won the UK Charity Awards and the WISE Global Innovation Awards. In August 2014, John became the 'Rising CEO Star' at the Charity Times awards in the UK.


Tuesday 14 October 2014, 5.00-6.30pm (podcast|)

'Secure the Borders!' The Cost and Consequences of Europe's 'Fight Against Irregular Migration'|

Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit| public discussion

Venue: The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Centre, LSE
Speakers:  Dr Ruben Andersson, Dr Nicholas De Genova, Mr Jeremy Harding, Dr Cecilia Malmström
Chair: Professor Mary Kaldor

About the event

To mark the launch of Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe, experts debate whether EU states are succeeding in ‘managing the frontiers’ – and at what price. More information here|.

About the speakers

Ruben Andersson (@ruben_andersson) is AXA Postdoctoral Research Fellow at LSE’s Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit.

Nicholas De Genova is a Reader in Urban Geography at King’s College, London.

Jeremy Harding is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books.

Cecilia Malmström (@MalmstromEU) is the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

More information

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEborders


Friday 10 October 2014, 3.00-4.30pm

Poor Democracies in a Conundrum: International Trade and Government Revenues in Developing Countries

Department of International Relations and Department of International Development seminar

Venue: Graham Wallace Room, 5th floor, Old Building, LSE
Speaker: Nita Rudra

About the event

Governments of developing countries need revenue to meet their substantial spending, development, and poverty reduction goals. How has globalization affected their ability to raise such revenues?  In this analysis, we contribute to the globalization and taxation debate by focusing on the fiscal impacts of declining international trade tax revenue in poor nations. We hypothesize that regime type is a major determinant of revenue raising capacity after liberalization policies have been adopted. As international trade taxes decline- once the primary form of government revenue generation in developing economies- policymakers in poor democracies find it more challenging than their authoritarian counterparts to replace the revenue loss via domestic tax reform. The unfortunate consequence is that the failure to recover declining trade tax revenue in democracies is then associated with a reduction in spending on public goods.

About the speaker

Nita Rudra is an Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University.  Her research interests include:  the distributional impacts of globalization as they are mediated by politics and institutions; the influence of international organizations on social welfare in developing economies; the political foundations of different welfare regimes; and  the causes and effects of democracy in globalizing developing nations. Her most critical works appear in the British Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, International Organization, and International Studies Quarterly.  She has a book with Cambridge University Press entitled: Globalization and the Race to the Bottom in Developing Countries: Who Really Gets Hurt?   She completed a one-year fellowship awarded by the Fulbright-Nehru Foundation at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore India in 2011.  She has also been a recipient of the International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations, which placed her at the Social Development Department of the World Bank for one year.


Wednesday 8 October 2014, 6.30-8pm (video & podcast|)

Improving Basic Services for the Bottom Forty Percent: lessons from Ethiopia|

Public discussion

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Speaker: Dr Qaiser Khan
Discussants: Marta Foresti, Peter Hawkins, Dr Andy Norton
Chair: Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

About the event

Dr Qaiser Khan will be joined by a panel to discuss Improving Basic Services for the Bottom Forty Percent: Lessons from Ethiopia, which examines Ethiopia's model in delivering basic services and why it appears to be succeeding.


About the speakers and discussants

Qaiser Khan is a lead economist and program leader at the World Bank and the co-author of Improving Basic Services for the Bottom Forty Percent: Lessons from Ethiopia.

Marta Foresti is Director of Politics and Governance Programme at the ODI.

Peter Hawkins is Head of Profession for Programme Management at DFID.

More information

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEEthiopia


Monday 29 September 2014, 3pm

Distributive Conflict and the Transition to Democratic Rule

Venue: Graham Wallace Room, Old Building
Speakers: Stephan Haggard (UCSD) and Robert Kaufman (Rutgers)

About the event

Carles Boix and Daron Acemoglu and Jim Robinson have advanced what we call a “distributive conflict” model of democratic transitions.  In earlier work, we argued that the causal mechanisms stipulated in the model did not appear to explain third wave transitions: inequality was not causally significant nor did transitions appear to occur uniformly as a result of distributive conflict.  However, some transitions did and in this chapter we explore their effects.  Regression analysis shows that distributive transitions produce higher scores on the Polity IV and Freedom House indexes.  Differences in the quality of political competition are also evident in narrative comparisons between four paired sets of cases:  Uruguay and Chile, Ukraine and Belarus, Zambia and Ghana, and El Salvador and Honduras.  The differences in the effects of distributive and non-distributive transitions are small, but they persist over a decade or more. 

About the speakers

Stephan Haggard is the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; Director, Korea-Pacific Program (KPP); and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at IR/PS at the University of California, San Diego.

Robert Kaufman is Professor of Political Sciences at Rutgers University.


Wednesday 23 July 2014, 6pm

Emerging Africa: how the global economy's 'last frontier' can prosper and matter

Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu
Chair: Professor Catherine Boone

To many, Africa is the new frontier. As the West lies battered by financial crises, Africa is seen as offering limitless opportunities for wealth creation in the march of globalisation. In his new book, Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s “Last Frontier” Can Prosper and Matter, Kingsley Moghalu, in considering the questions of what Africa means to today’s Africans and whether Africa is truly on the rise, challenges conventional wisdoms about Africa's quest for growth. Drawing on philosophy, economics and strategy, he ranges from capitalism to technological innovation, finance to foreign investment, and from human capital to world trade to offer a new vision of transformation. Ultimately he demonstrates how Africa's progress in the twenty-first century will require nothing short of the reinvention of the African mindset.

Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu is deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. One of Africa’s leading economic thinkers and policymakers, he worked for the United Nations for 17 years in New York, Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania, and Switzerland, and was the founder and CEO of Sogato Strategies SA, a global risk and strategy advisory firm in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kingsley Moghalu was educated at LSE where he earned his doctorate, Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is the author of two other books, Global Justice and Rwanda’s Genocide.

Catherine Boone is professor of comparative politics and African political economy at LSE.

Purchase the book online here >>|


Thursday 26 June 2014, 6pm

Rethinking Rule of Law Approaches

JSRP and SOAS panel and book launch

Speakers: Deval Desai (Harvard Law School/SOAS), David Marshall (UN), Mareike Schomerus (JSRP, LSE)
Chair: Iavor Rangelov (LSE)


Promoting the rule of law at the national and international level is at the heart of the UN mission and is a principle embedded throughout the Charter of the UN and the constitutions of most nation states. The 2012 “Declaration of the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels”, adopted by the General Assembly, reaffirmed that human rights, the rule of law, and democracy were interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and that they belonged to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations. 

To some, the ‘Rule of Law’ has become nothing more than empty rhetoric of individual Western states and intergovernmental bodies such as the UN, the World Bank and the EU.  In addition to conceptual uncertainty and perceived hidden agendas, there is mounting scepticism, particularly among donors, regarding rule of law promotion and its effectiveness in fragile states.  The International Rule of Law Movement critically evaluates rule of law initiatives from a contemporary global perspective. It seeks to fill the gap in knowledge among actors and to explain what has, and has not, been effective and why.  It also proposes better models for promoting justice and the rule of law in fragile states.

This new book in the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program series addresses such questions as:

  • ‘What, and who, drives “change” in terms of rule of law reform efforts?’
  • What have been the successes of locally-driven, “light footprint” interventions, particularly in fragile states?’
  • ‘If we are going to have a global rule of law system, should we use models and if so, which ones?'

Purchase the book online here|.


Friday 6 June 2014, 6.30-8pm

The Amartya Sen Lecture 2014| (Transcript|, video and podcast|)

LSE Department for International Development and STICERD lecture

Speaker: Christine Lagarde
Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen
Chair: Craig Calhoun

The Amartya Sen Lecture 2014 was delivered this year by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and included a response from Professor Amartya Sen.

Suggested hashtag for this event: #LSESen


Thursday 8 May 2014, 6.30-8pm

Programme for African Leadership and Justice Africa public debate

Justice in Africa: Perspectives from Great Lakes region|

Venue: Clement House, Room 3.02
Speakers: John Githongo, Dr Phil Clark, Dr Valerie Arnould
Chair: Professor Tim Allen

This event explored recent gains and challenges and current trends in the area of justice in Africa. It particularly drew attention to ongoing processes in transitional justice and to the involvement of the ICC in Africa, with a particular focus on Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Northern Uganda.

For more information about the speakers and the chair, please click here| to visit the event listing.


Tuesday 6 May 2014, 11.30am-1pm

Suppressing Protest During Electoral Crises: The Geographic Logic of Mass Arrests in Ethiopia (Seminar)

Venue: NAB.LG.09
Speaker: Leonardo Arriola, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

How do authoritarian regimes respond to the threat of opposition protest after disputed election results? Regimes are known to use coercion to suppress protests that threaten the status quo, but it remains unclear whether they seek to maximize the impact of repression by imposing sanctions indiscriminately to compel acquiescence from the population as a whole or by targeting sanctions only against those who take to the streets. This paper explains how regimes can suppress popular mobilization by using the geography of their capitals to target repression, concentrating policing efforts around politically symbolic sites where protesters are most likely to rally. The argument is corroborated with evidence from Ethiopia’s 2005 post-election crisis. Based on an analysis of nearly 15,000 protest-related arrests in the capital, the paper shows that the incumbent regime sought to contain the threat of opposition protest through a strategy of systematic spatial targeting, preemptively detaining young men residing in neighborhoods near the capital’s most salient political focal point — the executive office. Distance from the executive office alone is shown to explain much of the variation in neighborhood-level arrest rates, while factors such as protest intensity, police infrastructure, or opposition leader whereabouts are found to have no impact on arrest rates.

About the speaker

Leonardo R. Arriola is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on democratization and political violence in African countries. He is author of Multiethnic Coalitions in Africa: Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns (Cambridge University Press, 2012), which received a best book award from the African Politics Conference Group of APSA and the African Studies Association. His research has appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and World Politics.


Thursday 1 May 2014, 6.30-8pm

Economics, But Not As You Know It| (Podcast and video|)

Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Dr Ha-Joon Chang
Chair: Professor James Putzel

In Economics: The User's Guide, which he will talk about in this public lecture, bestselling author Ha-Joon Chang explains how the global economy works, and why anyone can understand the dismal science. Unlike many economists who claim there is only one way of 'doing economics', he introduces readers to a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how they all have their strengths, weaknesses and blind spots. By ignoring the received wisdom, and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial fate, Chang provides the tools that every responsible citizen needs to understand - and address - our current economic woes.

About the speaker

Ha-Joon Chang teaches economics at Cambridge University. His book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism was a no.1 bestseller and was called by the Observer 'a witty and timely debunking of some of the biggest myths surrounding the global economy.' He is a popular columnist at the Guardian, and a vocal critic of the failures of our economic system.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEeconomics


Thursday-Saturday 3-5 April 2014

The LSE Africa Summit|

The LSE’s first Africa Summit will explore the salient issues facing the African continent through the lens of entrepreneurship. The President of Ghana, His Excellency John D. Mahama, will give the keynote speech during the summit’s Business Conference on Saturday 5 April. Learn more about the programme here| and follow @LSEAfricaSummit| to catch up on what happened during the summit.


Tuesday 18 March 2014, 6.30-8pm

What went wrong and what can be done about it? African regional dynamics affecting post-war state building in South Sudan|

Programme for African Leadership public discussion series

Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Hon Richard Todwong, Hussein Maar Nyuot, Dr Edward Thomas, Naomi Pendle
Chair: Dr Hakan Seckinelgin 

About the speakers

Richard Todwong is the Minister Without Portfolio in the Government of  Uganda and a Member of Parliament representing Nwoya County in Northern Uganda. He has also previously worked as a special presidential advisor for Northern Uganda.

Hussein Maaar Nyuot  is a senior member of the current SPLM in Opposition that is headed by Riak Machar. He was the Deputy Governor for Jonglei state from 2007 until the recent violence of December 2013.

Dr Edward Thomas worked in Sudan and Egypt for twelve years as a teacher, human rights worker and researcher. His PhD focused on the history of the Republican movement, a Sufi-inspired group that called for the reform of Islamic law and civil rights for all Sudanese. He is the author of Islam’s Perfect Stranger: The Life of Mahmud Muhammad Taha (2010).

Naomi Pendle is a PhD candidate at LSE.  Her research focuses on local justice amongst Nuer and Dinka speaking communities to the west of the Nile in South Sudan.  She has lived, worked and researched in South Sudan for five years, and is currently working for AECOM assisting the Office of Transition and Conflict Mitigation in USAID.


Tuesday 4 March 2014, 6.30-8pm

After the Fall: World Order or Disorder after 1989

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit| and LSE IDEAS| lecture

Speakers: Prof Jacques Rupnick, Prof Mary Kaldor, Prof Michael Cox

Discussant: Prof Karoline Postel-Vinay

Discussant and Chair: Dr George Lawson

The end of the Cold War in 1989 ushered in a more stable world shaped by an irresistible combination of capitalism and liberalism. But did it? New wars in failing states,  the spread of nuclear weapons, rising terrorism, and in 2008 the great financial crash,  all pointed  to an international system where the certainties of a 20th Century Cold War had given way to a new century full of uncertainty and danger.

About the speakers and discussants

Professor Jacques Rupnik is Research Director at the Centre for International Research (CERI), Sciences Po.

Professor Mary Kaldor is Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics

Professor Michael Cox is Founding Co-Director of LSE IDEAS and Emeritus Professor in International Relations.

Professor Karoline Postel-Viney is Research Director at the Centre for International Research (CERI), Sciences Po.

Dr George Lawson is a Senior Lecturer of International Relations at LSE and serves on the LSE IDEAS Academic Management Committee.


Tuesday 4 March 2014, 6.30-8pm

Peacebuilding: what is it and why is it important?| (Podcast|)

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Judy Cheng-Hopkins

Chair: Dr Stuart Gordon

Peacebuilding has become a buzzword over the past decade. Yet, there are many diverging ideas of what peacebuilding is and what it entails. The United Nations is not exempt from such uncertainty, diverging interpretations, and misunderstandings, as well as the resulting conceptual and practical debates. Assistant secretary-general for peacebuilding support, Judy Cheng-Hopkins, will seek to outline the concept of peacebuilding, its practical significance, and translation into operational activity, with a particular focus on the work and engagement of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, which finances activities of UN agencies, funds and programmes in fragile states around the world.

About the speaker

Judy Cheng-Hopkins has been the United Nations assistant secretary-general for peacebuilding support since 2009.  She was previously the assistant high commissioner for refugees (2006-2009), the director of the Asia Bureau and the Balkans at the World Food Programme (WFP), and served UNDP in Africa for ten years.  She received a masters of international affairs degree from SIPA, Columbia University.  In 2011, she was listed by Forbes as one of the ten most powerful women at the UN. In 2013, she received the prestigious Global Leadership Award from Columbia University.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEpeacebuilding


Monday 3 March, 6.30-8pm

What went wrong and what can be done about it? Internal dynamics on post-war state building in South Sudan|

Programme for African Leadership public discussion

Speakers: Thomas Mawan Muortat, Dr Mareike Schomerus
Discussant: Alex Dowling
Chair: Professor Tim Allen

Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin

Wednesday 12 Feb 2014, 6.30-8pm

What went wrong and what can be done about it? A South Sudanese perspective for post-war state-building in South Sudan|

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers: Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Dr Edward Thomas

Chair: Professor Tim Allen

Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Foreign Minister of South Sudan, and Dr Edward Thomas will speak on the situation in and the future of the Republic of South Sudan.


Thursday 30 January, 6.30-8pm

AIDS Drugs for All: social movements and market transformations|

New Theatre, East Building

Speaker: Dr Joshua Busby

Chair: Professor Ken Shadlen

Drawing on a rich set of interviews and surveys, Joshua Busby shows how the global AIDS treatment advocacy movement helped millions in the developing world gain access to lifesaving medication.

About the speaker

Joshua Busby is an associate professor of public affairs and a fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEBusby


Wednesday 29 January 2014, 4.00-5.30pm

State building and large-scale investments in agriculture in Ethiopia: a perspective in the longue durée

Room 3.23, Old Building

Speaker: Luca Puddu

This presentation examines the territorial strategies and current geopolitical concerns that help explain different political economies of contemporary rural development programs in the Afar Regional State and Gambella Regional State of Ethiopia. In Afar Regional State, development programs feature state plantations and sugar value chains under public control.  In Gambella Regional State, we see large scale foreign investors surrounded by smaller domestic investors, and resettlement of local communities.  Puddu's analysis helps to explain the contrast.

About the speaker

Luca Puddu is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Social Sciences and Institutions at the University of Calgiari. He is currently Visiting Scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.


Wednesday 22 January 2014, 6.30-8pm

Poverty and the Tolerance of the Intolerable|

Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Prospect Magazine public lecture @ LSE

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Professor Amartya Sen

Drawing on his ground-breaking work on poverty and development, Professor Sen will examine some of the biggest economic, moral and philosophical issues facing anti-poverty campaigners today.

About the speaker

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and professor of economics and philosophy, at Harvard University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 for his contributions to the study of fundamental problems in welfare economics. His most recent book is An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions, co-authored with Jean Dreze. Professor Sen is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an endowed foundation funding a UK-wide research and development programme.

Prospect Magazine is "Britain's leading monthly current affairs magazine".

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEpoverty


Tuesday 21 January 2014, 5-6pm

The Next Global Development Agenda: from aspiration to delivery|

International Growth Centre public lecture

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Helen Clark

Chair: Dr Jonathan Leape

2015 was the date set for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals' targets. United Nations member states have agreed that there should be a post-2015 development agenda aimed at poverty eradication in the context of sustainable development. With negotiations on a new agenda set to begin in late 2014, Helen Clark will reflect on the inputs to the debate thus far and on how consensus can be reached on sustainable development goals.

About the speaker

Helen Clark (@HelenClarkUNDP|) became the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as prime minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 - 2008.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEUNDP


Wednesday 4 December 2013, 6-7.30pm

Efficiency, Legitimacy and Political Expediency: Japan's trade governance dilemmas|

New Theatre, East Building

Speaker: Dr Mireya Solis

Chair: Professor Ken Shadlen, LSE

Trade policy aims to satisfy three key criteria: efficiency, legitimacy and political expediency. As Japan embarks on a trade policy of unprecedented ambition through Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the European Union and participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it faces acute trade dilemmas.

About the speaker

Mireya Solis is the Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEJapan


Friday 29 November 2013, 7-8pm

Comparisons Are Odious! India and China: Economy, Society and Environment|

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Professor Barbara Harriss-White

This year's BASAS| annual lecture will be delivered by Professor Barbara Harriss-White of the University of Oxford. In her presentation she will focus on the similarities and differences between the Indian and Chinese economy, society and environment. She will focus on the less well appreciated similarities between the two countries. This lecture draws on extensive research produced for the book: China-India: pathways of economic and social development, edited by Delia Davin and Barbara Harriss-White which is about to be published by OUP for the British Academy.

The lecture was followed by a reception at 8pm kindly sponsored by the LSE’s newly announced South Asia Centre.


About the speaker

Professor Barbara Harriss-White is the director of Wolfson College’s South Asia Research Cluster and of Area Studies Research Project on the Materiality of India’s Informal Economy at Oxford University. She was the founder-director of Oxford University’s Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Area Studies and organiser of the world’s first MSc in Contemporary India. She has written, edited or co-edited and published 40 books and major reports, published over 200 scholarly papers and chapters and over 60 working papers. Her book Rural Commercial Capital won the Edgar Graham prize. She works on India’s political economy, in particular food and energy, and aspects of deprivation – all through field research. She is emeritus professor of development studies, emeritus fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a professorial research associate at SOAS.


Thursday 28 November 2013, 6.30-8pm

Approaches to Eradicate Poverty Over the Next Generation|

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Mark Goldring

Chair: Professor James Putzel, LSE

About the speaker

Mark Goldring is chief executive of Oxfam GB and has decades of experience within international development, including as chief executive of VSO and chief executive of Mencap, the UK’s leading disability charity.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEOxfam

Helene D. Gayle

Thursday 31 October 2013, 6.30-8pm

Private Sector Approaches to Sustainable, Long-Term Economic Development|

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Dr Helene Gayle

Chair: Professor E A Brett, LSE

New approaches to address extreme poverty are emerging that involve greater private sector engagement. Traditional poverty-fighting efforts are being combined with new, innovative business models aiming for social impact—providing long-term economic growth as well as greater social empowerment. Dr Gayle will discuss the variety of ways in which an NGO can engage with a broader range of partners toward improving the lives of poor people around the world.

About the speaker

Helene D Gayle is president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organisation.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSECARE


Tuesday 17 September 2013, 6.30-8pm

Delivering Food Assistance in a Shrinking Humanitarian Space|

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Ertharin Cousin

Chair: Professor Stuart Gordon, LSE

Conflict and insecurity present a growing challenge to humanitarian agencies as they strive to reach those in need of food assistance. Access is vital if lives are going to be saved and children are to be given the nutritional support they need to thrive. In a world of increasingly complex emergencies, shifting allegiances and fluid frontlines, there is an even greater risk that some communities may be left beyond the reach of the agencies that are there to help.

About the speaker

Ertharin Cousin is the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. Last year, WFP provided food assistance to more than 97 million people in 80 countries. Ertharin is an exceptional advocate for improving the lives of hungry people worldwide, and travels extensively to raise awareness of food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEWFP


Tuesday 2 July 2013, 10am-5.30pm

Evidence and Power Conference at LSE|

The Justice and Security Research Programme and The Asia Foundation

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Can evidence really drive development policy, or do power and politics always trump in the end?Join experts from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), The Asia Foundation (TAF), ActionAid, the London School of Economics (LSE), Tufts University, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the University of Manchester for a day of debate, discussion and workshops on the evolving and contested role of evidence in development policy.

This one-day conference is structured as a solution-oriented conversation between researchers, practitioners and policymakers working at the intersection of evidence and policy.  We’ll discuss examples from the ongoing research collaboration between the LSE’s Justice and Security Research Programme and The Asia Foundation, examining how TAF uses Theory of Change as a planning tool and entry point for better use of evidence in their work in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines,  Timor-Leste and beyond.

Ian Shapiro

Thursday 27 June 2013, 2-3:30pm

Luck, Leadership, and Legitimacy in Transitions to Democracy: Lessons from South Africa and the Middle East  |

Graham Wallace Room (5th Floor, Old Building)

Speaker: Professor Ian Shapiro

Chair:  Mayling Birney, LSE


Co-organised by the Department of International Development and the Department of Government Comparative Politics and Political Theory Group.

Amartya Sen

Wednesday 26 June 2013, 6.30-8pm

An Uncertain Glory: the economic and social condition of modern India  |

Asia Research Centre and Department of International Development public lecture

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Professor Amartya Sen

Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun 

When India became independent in 1947 after two centuries of colonial subjugation, it immediately adopted a firmly democratic political system, with multiple parties, freedom of speech and extensive political rights. The famines that had been so common in the colonial era disappeared, and steady economic growth replaced the almost complete stagnation characteristic of the long rule of the Raj. The growth of the Indian economy, which has quickened over the last three decades, became the second fastest in the world. Despite a recent dip, it is still one of the highest among nations.

Maintaining rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achieveable goal for India. In this lecture, based on his new book written with Professor Jean Drèze, An Uncertain Glory|, Sen will argue that the country's main problems lie elsewhere, particularly in the lack of attention that is paid to the essential needs of the people, especially the poor. One of the biggest failures has been the very inadequate use of the public resources generated by economic growth to expand India's lagging physical and social infrastructure (in sharp contrast, for example, to what China has done): there is a continued inadequacy both of social services such as schooling, medical care and immunization, and of physical services such as the provision of safe water, electricity, drainage and sanitation. Even as India has overtaken other countries in its rate of growth, because of these inadequacies it has, the book shows, fallen behind many of the same countries - often very poor ones - in quality of life.

Because of the importance of democracy in India, addressing these failures will require not only significant policy rethinking by the government, but also a better public understanding of the abysmal extent of social and economic deprivations. The deep inequalities in Indian society tend to constrict public discussion in India's vibrant media to the lives and concerns of the relatively affluent. Dreze and Sen argue that if there is to be more effective democratic practice, there has to be a clearer understanding of the severity of human deprivations in India.

About the speaker

Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor, professor of Philosophy and professor of Economics, at Harvard University. He is an honorary fellow of LSE. Amartya won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was master of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1998-2004. His many books include Development as Freedom, Rationality and Freedom, The Argumentative Indian, Identity and Violence and The Idea of Justice.


Tuesday, June 4th, 4.00-6.00pm

Film Screening

Nong Jia Le - Peasant Family Happiness|

Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

The film is followed by a Q&A session with filmmaker Jenny Chio

"Nong Jia Le - Peasant Family Happiness" depicts the everyday experience of 'doing tourism' in two rural, ethnic tourism destinations in Guizhou and Guangxi provinces, China. Focusing on the perspectives of village residents, this film portrays how modern, rural Chinese negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals in their home villages and ideal projections of who they are and what their lives can achieve through tourism development.

Jenny Chio is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University. Her scholarly research focuses on rural social change in China, ethnic identity, tourism and migration, and documentary studies. She is also an ethnographic filmmaker and is working in various collaborative documentary film projects.

This is a joint event organised by the LSE's Department of International Development and the Department of Anthropology.

Amartya Sen

Wednesday 29 May 2013, 6.30-8pm

Reflections on a Changing World: 1950-2050|

The Amartya Sen Lecture at LSE

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Sir James Wolfensohn

Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen

James Wolfensohn was the ninth president of the World Bank.


Wednesday 15 May 2013, 6.30pm-8pm

Does Market-led Development Have a Future? |

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: Dr Ha-Joon Chang, Reader in the Political Economy of Development, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

Professor Danny Quah, Kuwait Professor of Economics and International Development, LSE

Chair: Dr Jean-Paul Faguet, Reader in the Political Economy of Development, LSE

The Department of International Development’s third annual Development Debate will consider the topic “Does market-led development have a future?”.  The debate is organized by the Development Management Programme, and features two world authorities on economic growth and development, Professor Danny Quah of the LSE, and Dr Ha-Joon Chang of Cambridge.

About the speaker

Ha-Joon Chang is one of the leading heterodox economists and institutional economists specialising in development economics. Currently Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge, Chang is the author of several best-selling books, most notably Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (2002) and 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2010).  He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank as well as to Oxfam and various United Nations agencies. He is also a fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.


Tuesday 19 March 2013, 6.30-8pm

Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?|

New Theatre, East Building

Speakers: Ghazala Mansuri, Vijayendra Rao

Discussant: David Mosse

Chair: Jean-Paul Faguet

Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?, a new Policy Research Report analysing participatory development efforts, shows that such projects often fail to be sensitive to complex contexts - including social, political, historical and geographical realities - and fall short in terms of monitoring and evaluation systems, which hampers learning. Citing numerous examples, the authors demonstrate that participatory projects are not a substitute for weak states, but instead require strong central support to be effective.

About the speakers

Ghazala Mansuri is lead economist in the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Equity Group.

Vijayendra Rao is lead economist in the World Bank's Development Research Group.

David Mosse is Professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Jean-Paul Faguet is a Reader in the Political Economy at the LSE and the current Chair of the Decentralization Task Force, part of Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University.  

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries contact Mazida Khatun by phone on 020 7852 3665 or via email at|.


Tuesday 5 March 2013, 6.30-8pm

Reversing the Resource Curse: How to Harness Natural Resource Wealth for Accelerated Development|

LSESU DESTIN Society Event

New Theatre, East Building

Speaker: Paul Collier

Chair: Dr Jean-Paul Faguet, International Development, LSE

Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Oxford University and author of The Bottom Billion and Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature.

Helmut Reisen

Tuesday 5 March 2013, 6.30-8pm

Re-Measuring the World: China's Global Development Impact|

NAB 1.04

Speaker: Dr. Helmut Reisen, Chair: Prof. Danny Quah

Thomas Bossert

Friday 1 March 2013, 4-6pm

Decentralization of Health: Recent Studies of Decision Space, Capacities and Accountability

TW1 1.02

Speaker: Thomas Bossert, Ph.D. Harvard School of Public Health

Chair: Dr Jean-Paul Faguet, International Development, LSE

Book cover

Monday 28 January 2013, 6.30-8pm

Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land |

New Theatre, East Building

A discussion with the authors of the new book, Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land which offers a nuanced assessment of land reform, countering the dominant media narratives of oppression and economic stagnation in Zimbabwe.

About the speakers

Joseph Hanlon is a visiting senior fellow at the LSE and an honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester.

Jeanette Manjengwa is deputy director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare.

Teresa Smart is a visiting fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEZimbabwe

South Africa

Tuesday 4 December 2012, 6.30-8.30pm

Replacing the Nation: South Africa's Passive Revolution? |

Department of Geography and Environment/Africa Talks public lecture

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Professor Gillian Hart

In the light of the conflicting forces that have unfolded in South Africa over the last decade, Gillian Hart takes a fresh look at the nation’s transition from apartheid. Based on Professor Hart’s forthcoming book, this lecture will explore the simultaneous processes of South African de-nationalization, re-nationalization and ‘elite pacting’, before examining how this fits within contemporary debates over passive revolution.

About the speaker

Gillian Hart is Professor of Geography and Co-chair of Development Studies and the University of California, Berkeley, and an Honorary Research Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Manila sunset

Thursday 29 November 2012, 6.30-8pm


The Mindanao Peace Process: prospects for the 2012 Framework Agreement

New Academic Building, Room 2.04 , LSE

Download Flier|

Green Fan

Wednesday 28 November 2012, 6.30-8pm

LSE Arts and Africa Talks film screening

"Call Me Kuchu": homophobia in Uganda|

New Theatre, East Building

The film tells the story of the life and death of David Kato, a Ugandan gay rights campaigner who was killed in 2011 at a time when a bill to make homosexuality punishable by death was pending in the Ugandan parliament.

Following the film, a panel discussion will consider the issue of homophobia in Africa in the context of the moral scramble for Africa currently being waged by the Christian fundamentalists and human rights lobbies.

Beau Hopkins is a British playwright and author of the controversial play The River and the Mountain, which led to the arrest of the producer when performed in Kampala in August 2012.

Rahul Rao is lecturer in Politics at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and specialist in International Security, Comparative Political Thought, and Queer Politics.

Nepal Mountains

Wednesday 28 November 2012, 6.30-8pm

Nepal: a politics of perpetual crises?

Clement House, Room 4.02, LSE

Download Flier|

Shadow of boy with gun

Wednesday 21 November 2012, 8-7.15pm

Aid at What Price? Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed |

DESTIN Society Public Event

Speaker: Sandrine Tiller, Programme Adviser with Medecins Sans Frontiers

Chair: Dr Stuart Gordon, International Development, LSE

What is an acceptable compromise when it comes to negotiating with corrupt governments and violent oppositions groups to try to enable the provision of aid to some of the world's neediest people?

Decentralization and Popular Democracy

Wednesday 14 November, 6.30-8pm

Decentralization and Popular Democracy: governance from below in Bolivia|

Book launch

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Dr Jean-Paul Faguet|

Dr Faguet will speak about his new book Decentralization and Popular Democracy: governance from below in Bolivia.

About the speaker

Jean-Paul Faguet is reader in the political economy of development at LSE.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEBolivia

laptop in plantation

Thursday 1 November 2012, 6.30-8pm

The Challenge of Agricultural Development in Africa: what lessons from China?|

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Professor Li Xiaoyn

Discussants: Professor Henry Bernstein, Professor Thandika Mkandawire, Professor James Putzel

Professor Li will introduce his new book followed by a panel discussion.

Li Xiaoyn is dean of the College of Humanities and Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing. Henry Bernstein is professor of development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Thandika Mkandawire is professor of African development at LSE and the Olof Palme Professor For Peace at the Institute for Future Studies, Stockholm. James Putzel is professor of development studies and director of the Crisis States Research Programme at LSE.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEAfrica


Wednesday 31 October, 6.30-8pm

When China Met Africa|

LSE Arts and International Development public film screening

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers: Dr Chris Alden, Nick Francis, Professor Jude Howell

Described by The Times as “a rare grass roots view into one of the most important economic challenges of our age”, When China Met Africa takes us to the grass-roots of globalisation to reveal the expanding footprint of a rising global power.

About the speaker

Chris Alden is a reader in international relations at LSE. Nick Francis is director of When China Met Africa and co-director of Speakit Films. Jude Howell is professor of international development at LSE.

Suggested Twitter hashtag: #LSEA


Tuesday 11 September 2012

Launch of UNCTAD’s Trade & Development Report 2012, a hard-hitting analysis of current state of world economy and non-neoliberal prescriptions for improvements in economic performance. Its criticisms of key policies of western governments (eg “fiscal consolidation”, tax cuts) are not to the liking of western governments, many of which have been trying to make it shut up on such issues and leave them to “responsible, competent” organizations like G20 and IMF. UNCTAD should just focus on mitigating impacts on developing countries, especially on “youth” and “gender”.

Presented by Head of Globalization Division Heiner Flassbeck.

Chair: Jean-Paul Faguet, LSE

Discussant: Professor Robert Wade, LSE

Joseph E Stiglitz 

Thursday 28 June 2012

Creating a Learning Society|

The Inaugural Amartya Sen Lecture Series at LSE

Speakers: Prefessor Joseph E. Stiglitz and Professor Amartya Sen

About the speakers

Joseph E Stiglitz was chief economist at the World Bank until January 2000. He is currently University Professor at Columbia University and won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001.

Amartya Sen teaches economics and philosophy at Harvard University, and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, until 2004. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. Professor Sen is an honorary fellow of LSE.

Pakistan house

Thursday 7 June 2012

Pakistan After Bin Laden: Free-fall or Resurgence?|

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Ali Dayan Hasan

Chair: Professor Athar Hussain

About the speaker

Before taking over as Pakistan Director, Ali Dayan Hasan served as Human Rights Watch's South Asia researcher since 2003 and has specialized expertise in Pakistan. Hasan is responsible for researching, authenticating and writing reports, briefing papers and news releases produced by Human Rights Watch on Pakistan. He advocates South Asian human rights concerns globally with regional bodies, national governments, international financial institutions and is a regular contributor on Pakistan in the international media. In addition to appearing frequently as a commentator on television, his opinion pieces have appeared in major international media. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Hasan was a senior editor at Pakistan's premier independent, political news monthly magazine, Herald. During 2006 and 2007, Hasan was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford.

Tim Allen

Friday 13 May 2012

The Burning Issue: Parasites - enemy of the poor|

Speaker: Professor Tim Allen, LSE

Lord Boateng

Thursday 10 May 2012

Adding Value In Africa: some reflections from the grandson of a Ghanaian cocoa farmer|

Speaker: Lord Boateng

Chair: Professor Thandika Mkandawire, LSE

About the speaker

Paul Boateng served as the British high commissioner to South Africa from March 2005 to May 2009 and was the UK's first black Cabinet Minister.

Water Carrier

Tuesday 1 May 2012

The New Population Bomb? The Politics of Population Change|

Speaker: Professor Jack Goldstone, Professor Eric Kaufmann, John Parker

Chair: Dr Elliott Green, LSE

This panel will discuss the current global demographic revolution – the contrast between an aging developed world and a youthful developing world. This marks the publication of Political Demography: how population changes are reshaping international security and national politics.

About the speakers

Jack Goldstone is the Virginia E and John T Hazel Jr Professor at the George Mason School of Public Policy.

Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London.

John Parker writes about globalisation without economic policy. He was previously bureau chief in Washington, Moscow and Brussels for The Economist.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Crises and Revolutions: The Reshaping of International Development|

Speaker: Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Chair: Professor Robert Wade, LSE

About the speaker

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director, joined the World Bank in June 2010. She is responsible for the Bank's operations in Africa, East Asia & the Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East & North Africa and South Asia. In addition, Sri Mulyani oversees other administrative vice-presidencies and functions, including the Integrity Vice Presidency, Sanctions Board Secretariat and the Office of Evaluation and Suspension.

Bill Gates

Wednesday 25 January 2012, 1.30-2.30pm

Bill Gates and Hans Rosling addressing the 2012 Global Poverty Ambassadors and students at the LSE|

Speakers: Bill Gates, Professor Hans Roslin


The Global Poverty Project has partnered with The Co–operative during the UN Year of Co-operatives to launch a new initiative that will raise awareness and inspire communities to take action for the 1.4 billion people still living in extreme poverty.

Bill Gates will speak to the inaugural Global Poverty Ambassadors as part of the London launch of his Annual Letter. In the letter, he will outline the key innovations and commitment needed to continue making progress against global challenges like disease and poverty in 2012.

Bill is inviting students from around the world to write their own letters on the most urgent issues we face today. (If you have a big idea you would like to share, please write 300-500 words and email it to|).

Professor Hans Rosling will also address the Ambassadors and students using his extraordinary, interactive graphics, which reveal global trends and the great benefits of development aid.

About the speakers

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Hans Rosling is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation.

Blurry People

Monday 23 January 2012

Bottom-up Politics: an agency-centred approach to globalisation|

Speakers: Professor Helmut Anheier, Professor Mient Jan Faber, Professor Marlies Glasius, Professor Mary Kaldor

Chair: Dr Denisa Kostovicova

About the speakers

Helmut Anheier is professor of sociology at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.

Mient Jan Faber is Professor Emeritus at the Free Universit, Amsterdam and visiting professor at the University of Houston.

Marlies Glasius is Professor of Citizens Involvement in War Zones and Post-Conflict Zones at the Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, and a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Human Security and Civil Society Research Unit.

Mary Kaldor is professor of Global Governance and director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, LSE.