Social Policy Events Calendar

Public events, Research seminars series,
Event podcasts

We host a range of events, from large public lectures to smaller seminars, across a broad spectrum of topics relating to social policy. Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to all.


Upcoming events

February 2018

200x200Tony Atkinson

16 February

What Can be Done to Reduce Inequality?

Hosted by the Department of Social Policy, III, STICERD

Speakers: Rachel Lomax, Ed Miliband, Lord Willetts

Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

6.00pm-7.30pm Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Can inequality be reduced? How? In his 2015 book, Inequality. What Can Be Done?, Professor Sir Tony Atkinson set out a portfolio of policies for reducing inequality.

Atkinson’s book set out 15 policy proposals for inequality reduction plus several ‘ideas to pursue’, arguing that the measures were both desirable and feasible. But securing their implementation would require securing political support. The event, celebrating Tony's life and work, will consider the extent to which practical realities of politics constrain the extent to which policies for inequality reduction such as those of Atkinson and others can be introduced.

This event is free and open to all however pre-registration is required. Tickets will be released from 9.00am on Thursday 1st February.  

Please register via Eventbrite.


Rita Nikolai

21 February

International Social and Public Policy Seminar Series

Political Parties and Private Schools: A Comparative Analysis of Policy and Politics in England and Germany 

Speaker: Dr Rita Nikolai, Humboldt University, Berlin
Chair: Dr Timo Fleckenstein

2.00-3.30pm, OLD 2.26 (Webb Room)

More information



21-24 February  

LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0

Department related events 


Christina Felfe

28 February

International Social and Public Policy Seminar Series

Citizenship, Identity and Trust: Combining a Large-Scale Artefactual Field Experiment and a Natural Field Experiment

Speaker: Dr Christina Felfe, University of St. Gallen
Dr Berkay Özcan

2.00-3.30pm, OLD 2.26 (Webb Room)

More information


March 2018


7 March

International Social and Public Policy Seminar Series

Police Reform and the Politics of Denial: An Academic's Journey into "Activism".

Speaker: Dr Michael Shiner, LSE

2.00-3.30pm, OLD 2.26 (Webb Room)

More information


Events and podcasts archive

Event highlights and podcasts 2017

Maro Matosian

Why is it Important to Pass the Domestic Violence Law in Armenia?

30 November 2017

Speaker: Maro Matosian
Chair: Dr Armine Ishkanian

Women’s rights NGOs in Armenia have been campaigning for the passage of a domestic violence bill for many years.  As the Armenian National Assembly debates the bill, there have also been heated debates between the defenders and critics of the bill. Maro Matosian, the Executive Director of the Women’s Support Center NGO in Armenia, gave a presentation on the latest developments and why, from the perspective of human rights and social justice, it is important for this bill to become law.  

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Beveridge 2.0- Rethinking the Welfare State for the 21st Century

29 November 2017

Speaker(s): Minouche Shafik, Professor Sir John Hills, Dr Waltraud Schelkle, Professor Richard Sennett, Professor Alex Voorhoeve 
Chair: Professor Dame Shirley Pearce

In November 1942, former LSE Director William Beveridge published a report that was to lay the foundation for Britain’s welfare state, caring for its citizens ‘from cradle to grave’. 75 years on, you are invited to join new LSE Director Dame Minouche Shafik, as she considers the future of social safety nets in a very different world economy. 

Listen to the podcast

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What if we abolished the dock? Rethinking court design and court ritual

Recorded on 14 November 2017

Speakers: Paula Backen, Abigail Bright, Chris Henley, Professor Linda Mulcahy, Dr Meredith Rossner
Chair: Professor Peter Ramsay

This debate will bring together academics and legal professionals to debate the fairness of placing the accused in an enclosed dock during a criminal trial.  

Listen to podcast

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Sexualities and Ageing: the case of Cyprus

Recorded on Monday 13 November 2017

Speakers: Debbie Laycock, Constantinos N Phellas
Chair: Dr Timothy Hildebrandt

This talk will explore the social and psychological needs of people aged 50 or over living with HIV/AIDS and present the findings from a comparative study between the UK and Cyprus.

Listen to podcast


What if we rethought parole?

Recorded onThursday 22 June 2017

Speakers: Professor Nick Hardwick, Dr Laura Janes, Nicola Padfield
Chair: Dr Meredith Rossner

This lecture discusses the present presumption that a parolee has to demonstrate they are not at risk of repeated offending and suggest that it should be the State to demonstrates the prisoner remains a risk.

Listen to podcast.


Representing Poverty and Inequality: The legacy of Charles Booth
Revolutions LSE Literary Festival 2017

Recorded on 25 February 2017

Speakers: Joseph Bullman, Professor Mary Morgan, Sarah Wise 
Chair: Professor Nicola Lacey

In the wake of the Centenary of the death of Charles Booth, whose poverty maps and surveys started a quiet revolution in the methodology of the social sciences, a group of writers will reflect on what we can learn from Booth’s work today in terms of the techniques available to write about, analyse and make present to the reader the realities of poverty and inequality. 

Listen to podcast.


Stagnation Generation: Exploring intergenerational fairness
Revolutions LSE Literary Festival 2017

Recorded on 22 February 2017

Speakers: Nona Buckley-Irvine, Georgia Gould, Professor John Hills and Omar Khan 
Chair: David Willetts

Are today's young people getting a bum deal? Young people have experienced the biggest pay squeeze in the aftermath of the financial crisis, seen their dreams of home ownership drift out of sight and witnessed a welfare state in retreat. Are these short term effects or do they run deeper, and how can policy make a difference? The Resolution Foundation, convenors of the Intergenerational Commission, partner with the International Inequalities Institute to debate this pressing issue.

Listen to the podcast.

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Drug Policies Beyond the War on Drugs?
LSE Works lecture

Recorded on 15 February 2017

Speakers: Dr John Collins, Professor Lawrence Phillips, Dr Joanne Csete, Dr Michael Shiner
Chair: Dr Mary Martin

As countries examine new ways of managing drug issues beyond the problematic and simplistic model of the 'war on drugs', this lecture examines how LSE research, among others, can help impact and drive government policies.

Listen to the podcast.

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The Relationship between Inequality and Poverty: mechanisms and policy options
LSE Works lecture

Recorded on 8 February 2017

Speakers: Dr Eleni Karagiannaki and Dr Abigail McKnight 

This lecture examines the empirical relationship between economic inequality and poverty across countries and over time, paying attention to different measurement issues. It then considers a range of potential mechanisms driving this relationship and explores policy options.

Listen to the podcast.

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Documenting Genocide: survey evidence on ISIS violence against Yazidis
LSE Works lecture

Recorded on 11 January 2017 

Speaker: Dr Valeria Cetorelli

The United Nations Human Rights Council has recently declared that ISIS violence against the Yazidi religious minority constitutes a case of "ongoing genocide". Dr Valeria Cetorelli will present the first survey evidence on the number and demographic profile of Yazidis killed and enslaved by ISIS. 

Listen to the podcast.

Event highlights and podcasts 2016


When Elephants Fight
Department of Social Policy film screening and Q&A

Recorded on 24 October 2016

Panelists: Peter Jones, Bandi Mbubi, JD Stier
Chair: Dr Armine Ishkanian

#StandWithCongo presents the London premiere of When Elephants Fight, a documentary on how multinational corporations and corrupt politicians in Democratic Republic of the Congo threaten human rights narrated by Robin Wright, House of Cards, with LSE alumnus, Kwame Marfo as International Executive Producer. 

Listen to the Q&A podcast.


The Welfare Trait: how state benefits affect personality
Centre for Philosophy of Natural Social Science public lecture

Recorded on 29 June 2016

Speakers: Dr Adam Perkins, Dr Kitty Stewart
Chair: Professor Jason Alexander

Dr Perkins argues that welfare policies which increase the number of children born into disadvantaged households risk proliferating dysfunctional, employment-resistant personality characteristics, due to the damaging effect on personality development of exposure to childhood disadvantage.

Listen to the podcast.


Cities for a Small Continent 
LSE Housing and Communities research and consultancy group 

Recorded on 24 May 2016

Speakers: Professor Bruce Katz, Professor Anne Power 
Chair: Donal Durkan, Mathieu Goetzke

Cities for a Small Continent is an international handbook, drawing together 10 years of ground-level research into the causes and consequences of Europe's biggest urban challenges. This event explores the potential for former industrial cities to offer a more sustainable future for a crowded European continent

Listen to the podcast.

Social Advantage and disadvantage book cover

Social Advantage and Disadvantage
Department of Social Policy book launch discussion

Recorded on 18 May 2016

Speakers: Professor Hartley Dean, Professor Lucinda Platt,Dr Sonia Exley
Discussant: Fran Bennett
Chair: Professor David Piachaud
Panellists: Professor Stephen Jenkins, Dr Coretta Phillips, Dr Isabel Shutes

It is increasingly recognised that the ways in which social disadvantage is created and maintained are intimately bound up with how advantage is perpetuated and enhanced. The book launch and discussion introduced different conceptual approaches to such processes of relative (dis)advantage and reflected on the ways in which they play out across the life course, social groups and by geography.

Listen to the podcast.

The truth about why people do bad things wrong size

Criminal: the truth about why people do bad things
Department of Social Policy and Mannheim Centre for Criminology Public Lecture

Recorded on 3 May 2016

Speaker: Tom Gash
Chair: Professor Tim Newburn

Tom Gash dispels the myths that inform our views of crime, from the widespread misconception that poverty causes crime, to the belief that tough sentencing reduces crime. He examines the origins of criminal behaviour, the ebb and flow of crime across the last century, and the effectiveness of various government crack-downs - and in doing so reveals the important truth that crime is both less rational and much easier to reduce than many people believe. 

Listen to the podcast.


Art and Wellbeing: the growing impact of arts on health
LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2016

Recorded on 23 February 2016 

Speakers: Lizz Brady, James Leadbitter, David McDaid, Vivienne Parry 
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp

This event explores our current understanding on how engagement with the arts can increase wellbeing, with individual talks from those involved in science, art and health research and open discussion. 

Listen to the podcast.


The Allure of Happy Endings
LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2016

Recorded on 22 February 2016 

Speakers: Dr Molly Crockett, Professor Paul Dolan, Sinéad Moriarty
Chair: Jonathan Gibbs

Why do we like the escapism of 'happily ever after'? Can a sad ending ever be enjoyed in the same way? And how can works of fiction have such a powerful hold on our emotions?

Listen to the podcast

Judicial review

The Value and effects of Judicial Review
By Varda Bondy, Professor Lucinda Platt, and Professor Maurice Sunkin
Seminar to launch the major research report

The first comprehensive independent study to consider the effects of judicial review principally from the perspective of claimants and their advisers. The findings provide significant new insights into the value of judicial review for claimants, policy and practice, and challenge many widely held assumptions.

More information.

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Blowing the Lid : Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens
By Stuart Feather, Daniel Monk and Dr Hakan Seckinelgin 
Department of Social Policy book launch and discussion

Stuart Feather in his book describes the Gay Liberation Front’s founding, its meetings in Central London (starting at the LSE), principles, fights over revolutionary practice, gender differences and transsexuality. He relates protests and confrontations often with Women’s Liberation against Miss World and the Festival of Light in detail, sometimes bitter, often hilarious. A participant in many of the actions described, he also includes contributions from many other activists.

More information.

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New Media, Old News: strategies for penal reform groups to manage the new media landscape
Department of Social Policy, Mannheim Centre for Criminology and the Howard league public discussion

Recorded on 20 January 2016 

Speakers: Dr Marianne Colbran, Niall Couper, Andrew Neilson, Danny Shaw, Alan White
Chair: Professor Ian Loader

A lack of public knowledge about crime, justice, punishment and the ways in which some sections of  the news media shape public opinion about prisons and  prisoners, is a significant issue for NGOs and special  interest groups concerned with penal policy and penal  reform.

New Media, Old News brought together an academic, a leading journalist, a head of PR and Media and a director of communications, to discuss strategies for penal reform groups to obtain coverage without distorting key messages.

Listen to the podcast.

Event highlights and podcasts 2015

Anthropology and Development: challenges for the 21st Century
Department of Social Policy and Department of Anthropology public discussion
Recorded on 28 October 2015
Speakers: Professor James Fairhead, Professor Katy Gardner, Professor David Lewis, Professor David Mosse
Chair: Professor Deborah James

Listen to the podcast.

Too Many Children Left Behind: the US achievement gap in comparative perspective
CASE and International Inequalities Institute Public Lecture
Recorded on 21 October 2015
Speakers: Professor Jane Waldfogel, Dr Lee Elliot Major
Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

Listen to the podcast.

Misbehaving: the making of behavioural economics
Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Recorded on 9 June 2015
Speaker: Professor Richard Thaler
Chair: Professor Paul Dolan

Listen to the podcast.

The Government Paternalist: nanny state or helpful friend?
Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Recorded on 20 May 2015
Speaker: Professor Sir Julian Le Grand
Chair: Professor Howard Glennerster

Listen to the podcast.

Inequality in the 21st Century: a day long engagement with Thomas Piketty
Recorded on 11 May 2015
Speakers: David Soskice, Wendy Carlin, Bob Rowthorn, Diane Perrons, Stephanie Seguino, Lisa McKenzie, Naila Kabeer, Dr Laura Bear, Gareth Jones, Mike Savage, Sir John Hills, Sir Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty

Listen to the podcast.

Inequality: what can be done?
Recorded on 30 April 2015
Speakers: Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, Tom Clark, Professor Baroness Lister
Chair: Professor Lord Stern of Brentford

Listen to the podcast.

Changing Patterns of inequality in the UK
LSE Works: CASE Public Lecture
Recorded on 12 March 2015
Speakers: Professor Sir John Hills, Dr Polly Vizard
Chair: Bharat Mehta

Listen to the podcast.

Perceptions of Madness: understanding mental illness through art, literature and drama
LSE Literary Festival Discussion 2015
Recorded on 25 February 2015
Speakers: Dr Sarah Carr, Paul Farmer, Nathan Filer, Dr John McGowan
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp#

Listen to the podcast.

How Good We Can Be: ending the mercenary society and building a great country
Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Recorded on 11 February 2015
Speaker: Will Hutton
Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

Listen to the podcast.

Picturing Race and Inequality: the potential for social change
Conflict Research Group Public Discussion
Recorded on 13 January 2015
Speakers: Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mark Neville, Professor Tim Newburn, Professor Gwendolyn Sasse, Polly Toynbee

Listen to the podcast.


Event highlights and podcasts 2014

Good Times Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us
Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Recorded on 12 November 2014
Speaker: Professor Sir John Hills
Respondents: Polly Toynbee, Professor Holly Sutherland
Chair: Professor Julian Le Grand

Listen to the podcast.

Happiness by Design
Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Recorded on 22 October 2014
Speaker: Professor Paul Dolan
Chair: Professor Elaine Fox

Listen to the podcast.

Hand to Mouth: the truth about being poor in a wealthy world
Department of Social Policy public conversation
Recorded on 16 October 2014
Speaker: Linda Tirado
Chair: Rowan Harvey
Introduction by Dr Amanda Sheely

Listen to the podcast.

Practical and ethical dilemmas of working in the current Ebola crisis
LSE Health and Africa Initiative Research Seminar
Recorded on 15 October 2014
Speaker: Dr Benjamin Black
Chair: Dr Ernestina Coast 

Listen to the podcast.

Fault Lines and Silver Linings in the European Social Model(s)
Department of Social Policy Centennial Lecture: 
Recorded on 11 June 2014
Speaker: Professor Anton Hemerijck
Chair: Professor David Piachaud
Commentators: Dr Waltraud Schelkle and Professor David Soskice

Listen to the podcast.

"Who is it who can tell me who I am?" Understanding Dementia through Art and Literature
PSSRU LSE Literary Festival Discussion
Recorded on 25 February 2014
Speakers: Melvyn Bragg, Dr Andrea Capstick, Professor Justine Schneider
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp

Listen to the podcast.

Self-Help: myth or reality?
LSE Literary Festival Discussion
Recorded on 25 February 2014
Speakers: Dr Julian Baggini, Professor Paul Dolan, Professor Barbara J Sahakian
Chair: Professor IIina Singh

Listen to the podcast.

Events highlights and podcasts 2013

The Ethics of the Cognitive Sciences: children's pathologies – how do we think about children’s mental health?
Recorded on 19 November 2013
Speakers: Dr Rachel Cooper, Professor Eileen Munro, Professor Emily Simonoff

Listen to the podcast.

The Metropolitan Revolution: perspectives from US cities
Recorded on 29 October 2013
Speakers: Bruce Katz, Professor Anne Power
Chair: Professor Ricky Burdett

Listen to the podcast.

Richard Titmuss Annual Lecture: Richard Titmuss: forty years on
Recorded on 23 October 2013
Speaker: Professor Howard Glennerster
Chair: Professor Julian Le Grand

Listen to the podcast.

Reclaiming Democracy in the Square? Interpreting the Anti-Austerity and Pro-Democracy Movements
Recorded on 10 October 2013
Speakers: Dr Heba Raouf Ezzat, Professor Marlies Glasius, 
Dr Armine Ishkanian 
Chair: Professor David Lewis

Listen to the podcast.

Social Science in the Public Sphere: Riots, Class and Impact
Recorded on 2 July 2013
Speakers: Professor Fiona Devine, Dr Sam Friedman, Professor Tim Newburn
Chair: Jane Tinkler

Listen to the podcast.