Power, Privilege, Parties: the shaping of modern Britain

Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute

Online public event


Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper

Professor Jane Gingrich

Professor Jane Gingrich


Professor Mike Savage

Professor Mike Savage



Professor Neil Lee

Professor Neil Lee

In this event, Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of Britain’s oldest university - and the friendships and worldviews it created – has shaped the nation and helped make Brexit.

Drawing on his forthcoming book, Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK, Kuper will discuss the dynamics and effects of Britain’s ruling class and its ‘chumocracy’, with responses from Mike Savage – a sociologist of elites – and Jane Gingrich, Professor of Comparative Political Economy. In his new book, Simon details how Oxford University has produced most of the most powerful Conservative politicians of our time. They aren't just colleagues - they are peers, rivals, friends. And, when they walked out of the world of student debates onto the national stage, they brought their university politics with them. How has this reality helped define and design modern Britain?

Meet our speakers and chair

Simon Kuper (@KuperSimon) is an author and Financial Times journalist, born in Uganda and raised around the world. An Oxford graduate, he later attended Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar. He has written for the Observer, The Times and Guardian, and is also the author of The Happy Traitor and Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK.

Jane Gingrich (@jrgingrich) is Professor in Comparative Political Economy at the University of Oxford. Her main research interests involve comparative political economy and comparative social policy. In particular, she is interested in contemporary restructuring of the welfare state, and the politics of institutional change. She is currently the PI of the ERC-Project "SchoolPol", which studies variation and effects of educational regimes across countries.

Mike Savage (@MikeSav47032563) is Martin White Professor of Sociology at LSE. He is co-founder and former director of LSE International Inequalities Institute, leading the 'Wealth, Elites and Tax Justice' research theme.

Neil Lee (@ndrlee) is Professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE and leads the Cities, Jobs and Economic Change Research Theme at the International Inequalities Institute.

More about this event

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many of the School's departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

You can order the book Power, Privilege, Parties: the shaping of modern Britain (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEKuper

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Power, Privilege, Parties: the shaping of modern Britain.

A video of this event is available to watch at Power, Privilege, Parties: the shaping of modern Britain.

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email


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