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Michael Oakeshott Memorial Lecture 2011 - Are adverbial rules enough?


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Speaker(s): Oliver Letwin MP
Chair: Professor Richard Sennett

Recorded on 19 October 2011 in Shaw Library, Old Building.

Michael Oakeshott famously distinguished the character of a state, as opposed to an enterprise association, as something that derives from the imposition of adverbial constraints on action rather than the adoption of social goals. Oliver Letwin will explore the extent to which this is, and the extent to which it is not, an adequate account of what we can legitimately demand from the modern liberal state.

Oliver Letwin MP is Minister of State for Government Policy, responsible for providing policy advice to the Prime Minister from the Cabinet Office. Before entering Parliament as MP for West Dorset in 1997 he had a varied career encompassing being a philosophy don at Cambridge University, a member of Margaret Thatcher's Policy Unit in No.10 and a bank director. In opposition he held a number of senior Shadow Cabinet posts, including Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor and was Chairman of the Conservative Party Policy Review between 2005-2010.

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