Events

The Aristocracy of Talent: how meritocracy made the modern world

Hosted by the Department of Government and School of Public Policy

Online public event

Speaker

Adrian Wooldridge

Adrian Wooldridge

Chair

Professor Andrés Velasco

Professor Andrés Velasco

Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their status at birth. For much of history this was a revolutionary thought, but by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world's ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left?

Join us for this talk by Adrian Wooldridge about his latest book, in which he traces the history of meritocracy forged by the politicians and officials who introduced the revolutionary principle of open competition, the psychologists who devised methods for measuring natural mental abilities and the educationalists who built ladders of educational opportunity. He looks outside western cultures and shows what transformative effects it has had everywhere it has been adopted, especially once women were brought into the meritocractic system. Wooldridge also shows how meritocracy has now become corrupted and argues that the recent stalling of social mobility is the result of failure to complete the meritocratic revolution. Rather than abandoning meritocracy, he says, we should call for its renewal.

You can order the book, The Aristocracy of Talent: how meritocracy made the modern world, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Meet our speaker and chair

Adrian Wooldridge (@adwooldridge) is the Economist's political editor and author of its Bagehot column. He has also worked as the Economist's American bureau chief and author of the Lexington column, and management editor and author of the Schumpeter column. He earned a doctorate in history from Oxford University, where he was a Fellow of All Souls College. He is the author of ten previous books, including Capitalism in America co-written with Alan Greenspan and seven co-written with John Micklethwait.

Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Professor of Public Policy and Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

More about this event

The Department of Government (@LSEGovernment) is home to some of the most internationally respected experts in politics and government; producing influential research that has a global impact on policy, and delivering world-class teaching to our students. 

The LSE School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series imagining what the world could look like after the crisis, and how we get there.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWooldridge

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from The Aristocracy of Talent: how meritocracy made the modern world.

A video of this event is available to watch at The Aristocracy of Talent: how meritocracy made the modern world.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Once you join the Zoom webinar, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.

Podcasts

We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

This event will be streamed live on Facebook

Twitter

LSE Events LSEpublicevents

RT @ndrlee: Technological Change, Cities, and Spatial Inequality Registration NOW OPEN for this outrageously interesting @LSEInequalities

9 minutes ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Events LSEpublicevents

This year the Stamp Memorial Lecture will be delivered by @LHSummers of @Harvard, entitled Secular Stagnation After… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

19 minutes ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

  Sign up for news about events