Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Nancy Rosenblum (Harvard): “Good Neighbour Nation: The Democracy of Everyday Life”

21 May 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

LSE Department of Government Brian Barry Memorial Lecture 2015

Neighbours make us miserable, disturb our sleep, provide company and care, rescue us in emergencies, betray us to political authorities. Our quality of life around home is vulnerable to neighbours’ ordinary vices and, sometimes, exceptional hostility and cruelty. No wonder we tell stories about our neighbours with feeling and navigate our give and take uneasily. Yet moral and political theorists have had little to say about neighbours, in contrast with their extensive treatment of principles and obligations that govern family and friendship, workplace, civil society, and political life. The “good neighbour” would seem to fall between the poles of public and private morality. Nancy Rosenblum probes the “democracy of everyday life”, often hidden, that shapes these relations. ‘Reciprocity’, ‘Speaking Out’, and ‘Live and Let Live’, the elements of “good neighbour”, are less well-theorized than ideal of the “good citizen” but better practiced. In this way the quotidian democracy of everyday life serves as an informal substrate for democracy, is a saving remnant for democratic failure, and deepens and humanizes democratic theory.

Nancy Rosenblum is the Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government. Her field of research is political theory, both historical and contemporary political thought. On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship was published by Princeton University Press in 2008. It received the Walter Channing Cabot Fellow Award from Harvard in 2010 for scholarly eminence.


New Theatre
East Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map