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Speaker(s): James Meek
Chair: Dr Robin Archer

Recorded on 6 June 2017 at Old Theatre, Old Building

Is the historical association between extreme social change and violent revolution hampering opposition to the ballot-box extremism of the populist right?

The Russian revolutions of 1917 still influence contemporary events, but they distort our understanding of them. Because the 1917 revolutions were both violent political transformations and executed programmes of radical social change, we see the two as bound to occur together. But it is not inevitable. From Ukraine and the Arab Spring to neoliberalism and the rise of superrich families, James Meek explores how the world is being reshaped by political revolutions that are empty of coherent ideology, and by transformational social revolutions, radical and ideological, that strive to operate outside the political sphere.

James Meek (@LRBoutoflondon) is an award winning novelist and author who has reported extensively from Russia and the Middle East. His books include The People’s Act of Love and Private Island. He is a contributing editor for the London Review of Books.

Robin Archer is Director of the Ralph Miliband Programme at LSE.

The Ralph Miliband Programme (@RMilibandLSE) is one of LSE's most prestigious lecture series and seeks to advance Ralph Miliband's spirit of free social inquiry.

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