The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

Hosted by the Department of Economics

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building)


Martin Wolf

Martin Wolf

Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle


Jesse Norman MP

Jesse Norman MP



Professor Sir Tim Besley

Professor Sir Tim Besley

Join us for this event about Martin Wolf's new book, The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.

Democracy and capitalism are the political and economic 'operating systems' of today's high-income democracies. But how stable is the relationship between them? The answer is 'not very', since it requires a separation of power from wealth inconsistent with almost all historical experience. In his new book, The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, Martin Wolf argues that this complex system can best be described as a marriage of 'complementary opposites'. The book analyses how this marriage happened, why it is fragile and how economic and political changes have undermined it. It concludes by asking what needs to be done in response to developments that threaten the survival of liberal democracy itself.

Meet our speakers and chair

Diane Coyle (@DianeCoyle1859) is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. She co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research under the themes of progress and productivity. Her latest book is Cogs and Monsters: What Economics Is, and What It Should Be on how economics needs to change to keep pace with the twenty-first century and the digital economy.

Jesse Norman (@Jesse_Norman) is a former Paymaster General and Financial Secretary to the Treasury who now serves as Minister of State at the Department of Transport. He was educated at Oxford University (MA, classics) and University College London (MPhil, PhD philosophy) and holds fellowship at St Andrew’s University and All Souls College, Oxford. His many books include biographies of Edmund Burke and Adam Smith, and a historical novel, The Winding Stair, to be published next year.

Martin Wolf (@martinwolf_) is Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times, London. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 for services to financial journalism. Martin won the Overseas Press Club of America’s prize for “best commentary on international news in any medium” for 2013 and the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gerald Loeb Awards. He was a member of the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking in 2010-11.

Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics and Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at LSE. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee and is currently a member of the UK National Infrastructure Commission and the UK Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council. 

More about this event

This event forms part of LSE’s Understanding the UK Economy series, showcasing research and expertise on the state of the UK economy, its global context and its future.

The event is supported by the Mouradian Foundation.

The Department of Economics (@LSEEcon) at LSE is one of the largest economics departments in the world. Its size ensures that all areas of economics are strongly represented in both research and teaching.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEUKEconomy

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.

A video of this event is available to watch at The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism.

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

LSE Blogs

Many speakers at LSE events also write for LSE Blogs, which present research and critical commentary accessibly for a public audience. Follow British Politics and Policy, the Business Review, the Impact BlogEuropean Politics and Policy and the LSE Review of Books to learn more about the debates our events series present.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.


Photographs taken on behalf of LSE are often used on our social media accounts, website and publications. At events, photographs could include broad shots of the audience and lecture theatre, of speakers during the talk, and of audience members as they participate in the Q&A.

If you are photographed participating in an event Q&A but would not like your photograph to be stored for future use, please contact


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.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

WIFI Access

LSE has now introduced wireless for guests and visitors in association with 'The Cloud', also in use at many other locations across the UK. If you are on campus visiting for the day or attending a conference or event, you can connect your device to wireless. See more information and create an account at Join the Cloud.
Visitors from other participating institutions are encouraged to use eduroam. If you are having trouble connecting to eduroam, please contact your home institution for assistance.
The Cloud is only intended for guest and visitor access to wifi. Existing LSE staff and students are encouraged to use eduroam instead.
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.