Read about the School of Public Policy's impact on society.

The LSE School of Public Policy is committed to the promotion of democratic values and the use of reasoned judgement in the pursuit of public service.

Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of LSE School of Public Policy



May 2024


Professor Alexander Evans Speaks At Foreign Affairs Committee on International Counter-Terrorism

Professor in Practice Alexander Evans OBE was asked to appear as a witness at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on International Counter-Terrorism. 

The panel explored how al-Qaeda has evolved in the face of two decades of Western counter-terrorism pressure and the emergence of Daesh. It covered the threat posed by groups such as ISIS-K and the threats emanating from Central Asian countries, such as Tajikistan, but also explored how the UK works with allies to counter terrorism multilaterally.  

Watch the panel here.



How Much Should We Spend On the NHS?

"When inflation is higher, the NHS budget needs to rise accordingly. In recent years, even that low hurdle has not been met."

There is an apparent paradox when it comes to NHS funding: the government is spending a record amount of money on it, and yet it is underfunded. Professor Nicholas Barr explains why NHS costs are rising faster than inflation and outlines what would have to change for the NHS to be fully funded.

Read on the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog.



What Motivates People to Enter Into The Legal Union Of Marriage?

Professor of Social and Public Policy Berkay Ozcan was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion at Boodle Hatfield LLP with family law experts and journalists, to talk about his research and discuss the contemporary dynamics of marriage, exploring what motivates people to enter into the legal union of marriage and whether we should continue to award a special status to the married in society.

Watch here.



Argentina’s Inflation Paradoxes

In his latest piece for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco argues that the future of President Javier Milei’s new administration rests on its ability to deliver lower inflation and higher growth. The optimistic scenario is that inflation continues to fall, but not so abruptly that fiscal gains are undone; the pessimistic one is that an overvalued peso forces a sharp devaluation, pushing up prices.

Read more.


Tony Travers

Sadiq Khan Triumphs in London Despite Tory Efforts

Conservatives’ bid to harness backlash against rising crime and vehicle emissions zone expansion failed to pay off.

Read SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers' latest commentary about the London mayoral elections in The Financial Times and The Guardian



Does the Rwanda Plan Make Sense?

Dr Omar Hammoud Gallego, Fellow in Political Science & Public Policy at the LSE School of Public Policy, was invited back onto GB News to continue his commentary on the improbability of the UK's Rwanda Plan.

Watch here.



The State of Local Government in England and Wales

Ahead of the local UK elections taking place this upcoming Thursday, Professor Tony Travers was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 about the state of local government in England and Wales. 

Listen here.



April 2024


CEPR Discussion Paper: Identity, Civic Capital, And The Narrow Path

SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco has co-authored a new discussion paper with Robert Funk for the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) which explores how to induce pro-social and civic behaviour among our fellow beings.

Read here.


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Spanish PM’s Gambit Revives ‘Sanchismo’ Barb

Professor Luis Garicano, Professor of Public Policy at the SPP and a former centrist member of the European parliament, has been quoted in a Financial Times article discussing the Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez's recent speech to Spaniards.

“I am very worried about Spain. If we did not have Europe, we would be falling into the Latin American populist caudillo path. He is going to continue governing by making it ‘us’ versus ‘them’, the fascists,” commented Professor Garicano. 

Read here.


Tony Travers

Elected Mayors Have Made Their Mark, But Still Westminster Hogs Power. That’s a National Embarrassment.

The pursuit of efficient and effective councils leaves the UK with fewer, more populous councils than virtually anywhere else in the democratic world, argues Professor Tony Travers in his new op-ed for The Guardian.

Devolution has been too cautious, and England has less say about community affairs than almost any other democracy, Professor Travers writes.

Read more.



Anticipatory Policymaking for a Thriving Future

A lot of policymaking focuses on solving short-term problems, in sight of the 3-4 year electoral cycle. But big crises are never too far off. 

Professor Alexander Evans OBE argues that social science can help with anticipatory policymaking, necessary for dealing with the longer term challenges of politics.

Read here.



Pincer Move by Tactical Voters Threatens Conservative Local Election Wipeout

Britain’s ruling Conservatives face a political meltdown if parts of the electorate conduct a “pincer movement” using tactical voting to oust its councillors in local polls next week, political scientists have told The National.

There is a strong chance people disenchanted with the Conservative’s 14 years in power will vote against their first choice by opting for Labour or Liberal Democrat councillors to ensure a Tory candidate does not win.

This will have significant ramifications on the future of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, said Professor Tony Travers.

Read more.


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MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) Competition

Join us in congratulating our amazing SPP students who took part in the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) competition at the global finals this month!

Find out more about the MIINT competition and our students' experience in this Q&A.



How Will Ulez Sway Voters in the Mayoral Election?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion was at one point probably the most controversial transport scheme in the country.

Professor Tony Travers argues that Ulez could play a part in the mayoral elections especially if it is a tight race.

Read more.


Tony Travers

Professor Tony Travers on Upcoming UK Local Elections in May

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed on Times Radio about the upcoming local elections in May and his projections for the Tories, saying that the Conservatives are expected to lose half of their current seats.

Listen here.



Never Underestimate the Nation-State

In his latest piece for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco discusses the important role of the nation-state and argues that well-run countries can protect their citizens against uncertainty.

Using the contrasting examples of the earthquakes which hit Haiti and Chile in 2010 respectively, Professor Velasco demonstrates that, when a state functions well, it can save hundreds of thousands of lives in a single event but when it fails, as Haiti is reminding the world yet again these days, the consequences are often dire.

Read more.



March 2024

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Launch of the 12th Edition of the Public Sphere Journal

Join us in congratulating our Public Sphere Journal (PSJ) team on the launch of the 12th edition. The PSJ is a SPP student-led publication which features a collection of thought-provoking articles which delve into the critical realm of this year’s theme, "Inclusive Governance and Diversity in Policy".

To celebrate its publication, the SPP community joined expert panel members, SPP Professors Tony Travers and Adnan Khan and PSJ contributors Claire Wilson and Isabel Blackburn at a special launch event. 

Read here.


Council Tax Bills Across England Rise by Maximum Allowed

Professor Tony Travers has continued his commentary on local council finances on The Financial Times. 

Read here.


Varieties of Indoctrination: The Politicization of Education and the Media around the World

For many decades, scholars assumed voluntary compliance and citizens’ commitment to a regime’s principles and values to be critical for regime stability. A growing literature argues that indoctrination is essential to achieve this congruence.

In a new article co-authored by LSE Fellow in Political Science and Public Policy Dr Eugenia Nazrullaeva, the authors synthesize literature across disciplines to clarify the concept of indoctrination, focusing particularly on the politicization of education and the media. They then outline how the abstract concept can be operationalized, and introduce and validate an original expert-coded dataset on indoctrination that covers 160 countries from 1945 to the present, with the aim of facilitating a new generation of empirical inquiry on the causes and consequences of indoctrination.

Read more.



World Happiness Report Sounds Alarm About the Welfare of Young People

Professor Richard Layard has been quoted in a new article by The Guardian regarding the findings of the latest World Happiness Report by the Center for Economic Performance.

Professor Layard, one of the report’s authors, is clear that the findings show more effort is needed to support the education, training and mental health of younger people. Even if young people are only considered to be economic units of production, the evidence shows the whole economy benefits from them have a better sense of wellbeing.

Read here.

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How is India’s Trade Landscape Shaping Up for the Future?

Mayank Khurana, a current MPP student at the LSE School of Public Policy, has written an article for the Economics Observatory.

After independence in the late 1940s up to the early 1990s, India’s trade policy was transformed: from protectionism to a liberalised economy. Khurana argues that, as the country moves towards greater global economic integration, remaining challenges include improving infrastructure and diversifying trade relations.

Read here.

Tony Travers

‘This Isn’t a Game of 4D Chess’: Tories Braced for Bruising Local Elections

Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in a new article on The Guardian discussing local elections.

Read here.



"[The Rwanda Plan] Is Never Going To Work, It's Absolutely Costly"

Dr Omar Hammoud Gallego, Fellow in Political Science & Public Policy at the LSE School of Public Policy, was invited back onto GB News to continue his commentary on the improbability of the UK's Rwanda Plan in discussion with Christopher Hope.

Watch here.



Sir Vince Cable Admits To ME & MY MONEY Some Of His Early Financial Decisions Left A Lot To Be Desired

Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Visiting Professor in Practice at the LSE School of Public Policy and former leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2017 to 2019, has given an interview about his financial decisions over the years.

Read more.



Changing Labour Markets and the Future of Social Protection

The latest issue of #LSEPPR is out!

"Changing Labour Markets and the Future of Social Protection" features contributions from Andrés Velasco, Kirsten Sehnbruch, Naila Kabeer, Anna Valero, Hugh Collins, Jonas Kolsrud, Johannes Spinnewijn, and others.

Read here #OpenAccess.



Why Do Councils Go Bust And What Happens When They Do?

 "You've got this incredible pressure on councils who are effectively trying to deliver £110 worth of services for £80," says Professor Tony Travers on BBC News, an expert in local government at the London School of Economics. "They're spending less than they were 13/14 years ago, whereas the NHS - itself in trouble - spending is up 20% in real terms."

Read more.


Tony Travers

Rishi Sunak’s best hope of a general election triumph – and it’s not the Budget

Rishi Sunak will wait until the autumn to go to the country, said Professor Tony Travers - regardless of what Labour's Jonathan Ashworth says.

Read more.


Tim Leunig

The Guardian View on Treasury Fiscal Rules: No Way To Run A Country

Visiting Professor in Practice Professor Tim Leunig, who advised Rishi Sunak as chancellor, suggests replacing fiscal rules with a 250-word OBR-approved summary of Britain’s economic position at the budget. 

Read more.



The Financial Challenges Facing Councils Aross The UK

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers featured on BBC News discussing the financial challenges facing Birmingham and other councils across the UK.

Watch here.



How Do We Prepare For A World In Which Many Of Us Will Live To 100?

Professor Alexander Evans OBE explains how anticipatory policymaking can prepare us for this future of longevity, today.

Watch here.


Tony Travers

UK Public Trust In Political Parties Collapses To 12%

Only 12 per cent of the British public said they trusted political parties, down from 20 per cent in the same survey run in 2022, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. Approximately 68 per cent said they distrusted political parties.  

The drop in trust “is very serious because this is what liberal democracy is about”, said Professor Tony Travers, Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy.

Read more.



The Submergence of Emerging Markets

In his latest piece for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco argues that, despite what many think, the world as a whole has become vastly more equal, thanks to decades of rapid growth in China, India, and other emerging economies.

But that welcome trend will be in danger if emerging markets enter a sustained slowdown, as now seems likely, Professor Velasco warns.

Read more.



February 2024


"Don't Blame the Migrants for the Government's Fault"

Our Fellow in Political Science & Public Policy Dr Omar Hammoud Gallego was invited back onto GB News to discuss the record number of asylum claims granted in the UK last year with Nigel Farage.

Watch the full "clash".


Tony Travers

English councils ‘forced to the pawnshop’ in fire sale of assets

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was recently quoted in a Financial Times article discussing the local authority funding crisis and their plans to sell off land and buildings worth millions of pounds in efforts to temporarily stave off bankruptcy.

Read more.


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Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) 2024

Five student teams represented the LSE School of Public Policy (SPP) at the annual Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) conference this month hosted by Sciences Po in Paris. 

Read more here.



Council Tax: What Is It and Do We Have to Pay It?

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers continued his commentary on the local authority funding crisis by explaining the importance of council tax as a source of funding for local services.

Listen here.



Road to SDGs: Review of Evidence and Implications for Policy 

The world is off track in its ambition to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Limited progress in the early years after the SDGs’ adoption in 2015 was made worse by economic shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic, the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increasing impact of climate change.

Professor Adnan Khan has co-authored a new working paper with Christian Rogg and Charlotte Watts which reviews data trends and points to issues for consideration on the road ahead to 2030. 

Read here.


Tony Travers

On the Role of Emotions in Politics

Professor Tony Travers discussed the role of emotions in the political sphere on BBC Radio London. 

"If you look at the attitude to what's going on in Israel and in Palestine, there's no question that people on both sides of that argument, and those who are not, are emotionally engaged in it and that spills into politics in a way that it probably doesn't or wouldn't have done when we are discussing potholes," Professor Travers commented. 

Listen here.


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Birth Rate Drops to New Low in England and Wales

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in the Financial Times discussing the pressures that falling birth rates will create on the UK, from immigration to pensions and education spending.

Read here.



Trends in English Council Budgets 

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers continued his commentary on local government spending by discussing current trends in English council budgets on BBC Sussex. 

Listen here. 


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Andrés Manuel López Obrador Splashes Out As Elections Loom

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has been quoted in an article by The Economist discussing the fact that Mr López Obrador, Mexico’s outgoing president, has lately proved willing to splash out, even if it harms both Mexico and his successor. 

Read here.


Tony Travers

Budgets Cuts Proposed to the Birmingham City Council 

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was recently interviewed about the proposed budget cuts to the Birmingham City Council on BBC Midlands. 

Watch here.



Local Government Finances in England and Wales

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers continued his commentary on local government finances and discussed the differences between English and Welsh Councils on BBC Wales. 

Listen here.


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Call for papers - 5th LSE Workshop on 'Political Economy of Turkey'

Submission deadline: Friday 1 March 2024
Full papers required for submission
Email your submission to:

The workshop will take place on Friday 7 June and will feature a number of selected presentations/discussions and will culminate in a public keynote lecture. The event will provide a platform for researchers and policymakers to discuss new research and to identify areas where further academic policy-oriented work is needed.

Hosted by Contemporary Turkish Studies, the LSE European Institute and the LSE School of Public Policy

Find out more



Economic Policies and Identity Politics

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco argues that, while conventional wisdom holds that today’s angry populism will wane if income is distributed more fairly, unless we address the identity clash on which populism thrives, politics will become so nasty that spurring innovation, reducing income inequality, improving public services, and fighting climate change could become impossible.

Read more.



January 2024 


The Academic Speakers Bureau Taster Talks Series

Professor Alexander Evans OBE will be speaking alongside Elizabeth Stokoe (LSE Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science) and Nick Robins (LSE Grantham Institute) at the Academic Speakers Bureau Taster Talks series on Wednesday 31 January (5.30 - 7.30pm) in LSE's Marshall Building.

Learn more.



LSE's School of Public Policy Welcomes Dr. Laura Gilbert CBE and Christopher Schildt

The LSE School of Public Policy (SPP) is delighted to welcome Dr. Laura Gilbert CBE as Visiting Professor in Practice and Christopher Schildt as Visiting Senior Fellow.

Dr. Laura Gilbert is a specialist in technical data science currently working as the Director of Data Science in 10 Downing Street and as joint Chief Analysts in the Cabinet Office, while Christopher Schildt joins us as an expert in technology and security, having held senior leadership positions in both public and private sector organisations, currently at Coinbase, and previously at Uber London and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Read more.



"Susan Hall Is The Only Other Candidate Who Can Win the Election Other Than Sadiq Khan"

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers participated in a debate about the upcoming London mayoral election on BBC Radio London.

Listen here.


Tony Travers

Lords Warned Being 'Too Obstructive' on Rwanda Will Strengthen Calls to Abolish Them

The House of Lords' power to delay legislation is "much more problematic" in the final year of a Parliament, SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers told the EXPRESS.

Professor Travers was speaking after a treaty underpinning Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill was voted down in the unelected Upper House by 214 votes to 171, despite Foreign Secretary David Cameron urging them not to do so. The Bill itself will be debated in the Lords next week.

Read here.



Professor Alexander Evans OBE Appointed to USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Professor Alexander Evans OBE has been appointed as a Research Fellow at the University of Southern California (USC) Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD).

Professor Evans' 2024-26 CPD Research Fellowship project "Cyber Public Diplomacy" will focus on how cyber diplomacy is influencing – and changing – the content and strategic approach to public diplomacy by leading liberal democracies.  

Learn more.


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The Next Front in Mexico's Battle Over Institutions

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has published a new article on Americas Quarterly, arguing that the AMLO’s Supreme Court appointment reopens doubts about the judiciary power's impartiality and the future of independent checks and balances.

Read here.


Tony Travers

Election Year and Budgets in London 

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers discussed this year’s mayoral election in London on BBC Radio London following the announcement from incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan that he will freeze TfL transport fares until March next year.

Listen here.



Concerning Debt Levels Across UK Local Councils

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers discussed how UK councils can go into debt and the potential repercussions on BBC Radio London. 

Listen here.



With Bitcoin ETFs Live, Check In On Bitcoin In The Real World

SPP Policy Fellow Frank Muci, who has experience advising governments in Latin America, has been quoted in a Forbes article discussing the adoption of cryptocurrency in the real world using the case of El Salvador. 

Read here.



Ecuador 'At War' With Drug Gangs

In Ecuador, armed men have stormed a TV station while live on air. Dr Christopher Sabatini was invited on the Sky News Daily podcast to discuss the drug gangs that have declared war on the country's leaders (from 13:10 min).

Listen here.


Tony Travers

Bloomberg UK Politics: Who's Delivering?

Local government minister Simon Hoare has called on councils to use their emergency reserves to fund day-to-day spending and to  balance budgets. SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers discusses the feasibility of this idea on the Bloomberg UK Politics Podcast.

Listen here.


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The EU's New Fiscal Rules Are Not Fit For Purpose

Professor Luis Garicano has written an op-ed in The Financial Times arguing that "the reform of the EU’s fiscal rules agreed in December ignores the fundamental fiscal and political realities of member states [and will therefore] not work."

Read here.



Londoners Are Moving Out of the Inner Boroughs But Where Are They Going?

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers discussed demographic changes in London and what this means for swelling outer boroughs and local government budgets on BBC Radio London (1:07:00 - 1:16:00 min).

Listen here.



 Past news (View archive)


December 2023

Philippe Martin

Passing of Sciences Po Dean of the School of Public Affairs Philippe Martin

The LSE School of Public Policy is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Philippe Martin, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Professor in the Department of Economics at Sciences Po.
Philippe Martin was an outstanding economist, internationally recognised by his peers, who specialised in the field of international economics and economic geography.
The School of Public Policy has been honoured to work closely with Philippe Martin and the School of Public Affairs in the last few years through the Global Public Policy Network, and through our MPA Double Degree.

Our thoughts are with Philippe Martin’s family, friends, and colleagues at this difficult time.



El Salvador's Long-Planned Bitcoin Bonds As 'Unserious'

Last week, El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office posted from its X handle stating in part "The Volcano Bond has just received regulatory approval from the Digital Assets Commission (CNAD)."

In an interview on CoinDesk, SPP Policy Fellow Frank Muci discusses why he thinks El Salvador’s long-planned bitcoin (BTC) bonds are a "nothing burger".

Watch the full interview here.



Tony Travers

The UK Government Announces Next Year's Financial Settlement For Local Authories in England

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers continues his commentary about local authority spending following the UK government's announcement of next year's financial settlement in an interview on BBC Radio 4.

Listen here.


Nicholas Reed Langen - SPP Public Policy Review

Could Trump Be a Dictator?

If Trump is elected in November, American democracy will not have died in darkness, writes SPP Public Policy Review editor Nicholas Reed Langen in a new Project Syndicate article, it will have died at the ballot box.

Read here.



Inequality and Systemic Reforms in the UK: Gwyn Bevan and Sandy Pepper Q&A

"We need systemic changes that address the root causes of issues."

New on the LSE Press blog, read the interview with LSE Press authors Gwyn Bevan & Sandy Pepper. Professor Gwyn Bevan is an Emeritus Professor of Policy Analysis at the SPP.

Read here.



Guyana: A Polarised Democracy United by Its View of Essequibo

Dr Christopher Sabatini continues his commentary on the oil-rich disputed territory of Essequibo in Guyana, with Venezuela's renewed territorial claim on the region, in an interview about contemporary politics in Guyana on BBC World Service.

Listen here.



The Rwanda Bill as a "Policy of Mass Distraction"

Dr Omar Hammoud-Gallego was interviewed by GBNews to comment on the UK government's latest attempt at stopping "illegal immigration" through the externalisation of asylum processing to Rwanda. The interview took place live on TV as the government successfully passed its Rwanda Bill in the House of Commons with a majority of 44 votes.

Watch the full interview here.


Tony Travers

London City Hall's Legacy and Future

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was interviewed by BBC Radio London about the history of London's City Hall building, which has been sitting empty on the South bank of the Thames for the best part of two years but formerly served as the seat of governance for London.

Listen to the full interview here.



UK PM Sunak Battles to Unite Divided Party in Pivotal Week

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was quoted by Reuters in an article discussing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's challenges in reviving the UK economy amid internal party divisions, with the Rwanda policy being a central and controversial issue. 

"The Rwanda policy has become a totemic struggle and it has liberated the factions in the Conservative Party to continue their all-out war," said Tony Travers.

Read more here.


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Luis Garicano As Panelist at the CEPR Paris Symposium 2023 

Luis Garicano attended the CEPR Paris Symposium 2023 as a panelist alongside fellow experts, notably on a session about Organisational Economics and a climate panel discussing the "First Steps of the EU CBAM: An Evaluation". 

Learn more here.


Yomna Gaafar

MPA Alumna Named in Forbes Middle East 30 Under 30

Congratulations to Master of Public Administration Class of 2022 alumna Yomna Gaafar on being named one of Forbes Middle East’s 30 under 30.

Yomna Gaafar, Economic Analyst of Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been recognised for her work in helping governments and policymakers use digital tools to develop their economies and promote the prosperity of the poor and marginalized.

"My time at the LSE School of Public Policy was indeed transformative. The diverse environment and the array of rigorous academic opportunities, along with invaluable interactions with thought leaders in various disciplines, have been fundamental in shaping my approach to data-driven and evidence-based policymaking," Yomna told the School of Public Policy. 

Read more here.


Tony Travers

The "Austerity Doom Loop": A Decade of Austerity Impact and the Looming Threat of Bankruptcy on Local Councils

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was interviewed on Times Radio to speak about the impact of the UK government's austerity measures as a strategy to bring down public spending to reduce government deficit.

Tony Travers argues that a so-called "austerity doom loop" has resulted from these austerity measures which, coupled with the cost of COVID and Russia's war on Ukraine, has "meant that the burden of the cuts really fell on a number of other services [including] local government."

Listen to the full interview here.



LSE & Migrant Democracy Project awarded £60,000 by Civic Data Innovation Challenge Grant from GLA

As part of a joint LSE-Migrant Democracy Project initiative, Dr Omar Hammoud-Gallego and his team have been awarded £60,000 by the Civic Data Innovation Challenge Grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA) to conduct research on the representativeness of local politicians in London.

The team conducted a pilot study in the Council of Camden in June thanks to a £10,000 grant from the GLA as part of a first round of funding. This current work will expand the study to all of London’s 32 Councils. As part of this new project, which started in September 2023 and will last 12 months, Dr Hammoud-Gallego and his team have also hired six research assistants from LSE, including students from the School of Public Policy.

Learn more in our video with Dr Hammoud-Gallego here.



The Venezuelan Referendum on the Oil-Rich Disputed Territory of Essequibo in Guyana as a Political Strategy for Maduro  

Dr Christopher Sabatini, Senior Professor of Practice at the SPP and senior fellow for Latin America at LSE’s Chatham House, was interviewed by BBC World Service about the recent referendum in Venezuela, in which voters, albeit a very low turnout, backed the government's territorial claim over the mineral- and oil-rich disputed territory of Essequibo controlled by Guyana. Dr Sabatini argues that the poll was conducted for "domestic reasons," representing President Nicolás Maduro's political strategy to "wrap himself in the flag" given his tanking popularity ahead of the presidential elections next year.

Listen to the full interview here



We Are All Argentines

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco reflects on Argentina's recent presidential election, highlighting the victory of "anarcho-capitalist" Javier Milei and the significant support for Peronist candidate Sergio Massa, who obtained 11.5 million of the votes (44.3% of the total). Professor Velasco questions whether voters have truly learned from past experiences and speculates that the political cycle in Argentina may persist due to identity-based voting patterns.

Read the full article here.



Deciphering Mexico: Essays from the Perspectives of Women Experts

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has co-authored a new book which was presented in Guadalajara Book Fair on Dec 1. Her essay, entitled "The Mexican Economy: The Good, The Bad, and The Possible," (page 23) discusses the role that the Mexican state should play in the country's economy.

Buy the book on Google or Kindle (digital or physical). 



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The Stark Choice of Mexico’s Elections: Democracy or Autocracy?

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has written a new article for Chatham House on Mexico's upcoming elections next year.

With a new president – probably a woman – guaranteed in June, an apathetic electorate has the chance to renew the country’s social contract, writes Professor Rubio-Márquez.

Read the full article here



November 2023

Tony Travers

What London's Mayor Learned When He Took On The Cars

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in an article by POLITICO, commenting on the chances of Conservative opponent Susan Hall to incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan in the upcoming London mayoral elections in May.

Read the full article here.



London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan Tries to Unite a City Divided by War in Gaza

SPP Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers was quoted in an article for the The Straits Times, commenting on the upcoming London mayoral election in May, where incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan is hoping to be first mayor to win three terms.

Read the full article here




Can Javier Milei Do Everything That He Promised the Electorate?

Dr Christopher Sabatini was interviewed about the election of new Argentinian President Javier Milei on BBC Newsnight. 

"He has never really spelled out how he is going to tick these very drastic and radical policies. How will he implement dolarisation? How will he slash the budget? How will he reduce the number of ministries by about half? We don't know and so consequently it's unclear but we also don't know who is on his team to help advise him. It looks pretty much like it's him and by both counts he really doesn't have a very deep bench and he doesn't have a lot of friends even," Dr Sabatini commented. 

Watch the full interview here.



Argentina Faces a Bleak Election

Dr Christopher Sabatini has published an article in Time Magazine discussing the "bleak" choice facing Argentina on November 19 for "the second round of the most divisive presidential election in decades".

Read Dr Sabatini's analysis here.



Procedural Fairness and the Resilience of Health Financing Reforms in Ukraine

Professor Alex Voorhoeve has co-authored a new paper for the Health Policy and Planning journal, examining the legislation passed in 2017 by Ukraine's Parliament which established a single health benefit package for the entire population, called the Programme of Medical Guarantees. It argues that the acceptance and sustainability of these reforms could have been strengthened by making the decision-making process fairer (more open and inclusive).

Read the journal article here



Criteria for the Procedural Fairness of Health Financing Decisions: A Scoping Review

Professor Alex Voorhoeve has co-authored a new paper for the Health Policy and Planning journal, examining how to make the difficult policy choices necessary in bringing about universal health coverage (UHC) in a procedurally fair (open and inclusive) way. It synthesises research in political theory, public administration, public finance, environmental management, psychology, and health financing into a comprehensive set of 10 core criteria for fair decision-making processes in health financing.

Read the journal article here.


Tony Travers

The Return of Prime Minister David Cameron to Cabinet

SPP Associate Dean Tony Travers was interviewed on LBC News to comment on the return of former Prime Minister David Cameron to cabinet - whether it's unusual, what this signals to the Conservative Party, and the fact that as Foreign Secretary, David Cameron will not be answerable to MPs in the House of Commons but will sit in the House of Lords.  

Tony Travers commented: "the signalling of bringing a former Prime Minister, one associated with the Brexit vote and the defeat for his side - he wanted to remain at the time - is a big signal within the Conservative Party [...] bringing back David Cameron with his centrist, more traditional one-nation type conservative views signals that the party is still that, you know, sort of, more moderate version of the Conservative party. Interesting that Lord Heseltine, Michael Heseltine, has already commented favourably on this move because that tells you that people on the right of the party, supporters of Suella Braverman, will be extremely cross.

Listen to the full broadcast here.



Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future

Dr Tanvi Deshpande featured on the Tomorrow's Cities Podcast dedicated to the International Day for Disaster Reduction to discuss how Tomorrow’s Cities Hub is working actively across several cities in the Global South to foster inclusive disaster risk reduction.

Listen to the full episode here.


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Government Needs Timely and Reliable Labour Data

Dr Tim Leunig has written a letter to the Financial Times, and a subsequent Substack, making "the case for doing statistics differently".  



Tony Travers: Ministers Can't Question Local Government's Competence After Covid Inquiry Revelations

SPP Associate Dean Tony Travers has published a new article for the Local Government Chronicle arguing that, in light of the central government's important mishandling of the Covid-19 national crisis, or more recently the HS2, it should refrain from questioning local government's competence. 

Read the full article here.



Latin America's Splendid Isolation

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco argues that, eighty years ago, Latin America, far removed from turmoil elsewhere, missed the opportunity to reshape its economies and societies, with the growth of the 1940s giving way to the inflation and balance-of-payments crises of the 1950s and 1960s, and then to the lost decade of the 1980s. Professor Velasco discusses whether this could happen again.

Read the full article here.



October 2023


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AMLO’s Big Fiscal Push Could Help Morena

In her latest piece on Mexico, Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez argues that despite initial expectations of a decline in Mexican President López Obrador's popularity, he has succeeded in maintaining a stable approval rating by using social programs for clientelist purposes with great effectiveness, along with an appealing (albeit polarizing) narrative and strong disenchantment with the traditional political class.

Read the full article here.



Mexico “Mostly Free”? Mexico “Mostly Prosperous”?: Uncovering Shades of Gray in the Freedom and Prosperity Index

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez contributed to the recently published Atlantic Council's Freedom and Prosperity Center publication.

Read the full publication here




The SPP Welcomes Niall Ferguson as Visiting Professor of Public Policy

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Ferguson said: “I am delighted to be spending the academic year 2023-24 at the LSE School of Public Policy (SPP), my second time as a visiting professor at LSE. I especially look forward to working under Dean Andrés Velasco, whom I have long admired. I look forward to engaging with the SPP’s students. There could hardly be a better time to study the relationship between the United States and China, in the context of what increasingly resembles a new cold war."

Read more about the appointment here.


Tim Leunig

The SPP Welcomes Tim Leunig as Visiting Professor in Practice

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Leunig said: "I am delighted to be joining the LSE School of Public Policy after 25 years in the Economic History Department. I look forward to training the next generation of civic leaders and policy makers from around the world." 

Read more about the appointment here.


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Is the British State Broken?

From the Covid-19 response to record-long NHS waiting lists and a broken planning system, the state appears unable to perform its most vital tasks. On the Institute of Economic Affairs' (IEA) latest podcast, Professor Alexander Evans joins IEA Director of Public Policy and Communications Matthew Lesh to ask whether the British state is broken.

Watch the full episode here


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How Can We Grow the UK Economy?

Professor Richard Davies just featured on Analysis, BBC's Radio 4 programme on current affairs issues, discussing with Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and fellow guests how any government can get the UK economy growing again.

Listen to the full episode here.


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Ten Recommended Reads for UK Party Conference Season 2023

As this year's party conferences get underway, LSE's seasoned conference envoy Tony Travers, the Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy, recommends ten books for readers seeking in-depth analysis of the UK's political landscape.

Read Professor Travers' list here


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"Spain is in Danger of Falling into Secular Economic Decline"

Professor Luis Garicano spoke to the spanish newspaper, El Mundo, in an interview about the state of Spain's economy.

Read the full article in Spanish here.



The HS2 as a Fascinating Case Study for Public Policy Experts

In our latest explainer video, our Associate Dean, Professor Tony Travers, comments on Rishi Sunak’s decision to scrap the northern leg of the HS2 - Britain’s planned high-speed railway line.

Watch the full video here.


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Latin America's Growth Conundrum

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco discusses the fact that, since 1960, only a few countries in Latin America have narrowed the gap between their per capita income and that of the United States, while most of the region has lagged far behind. Velasco argues that making up for lost ground will require a coordinated effort, involving both technocratic tinkering and bold political leadership.

Read the full article here.



September 2023


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Mexico: The Election Race to Succeed AMLO Has Started

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has published an article in the Aug/Sept 2023 issue of the Chatham House “The World Today” magazine, arguing that "voters in next year’s general election will be looking for a third way between the incumbent’s populism and the technocracy of old". 

Read the full article here.



Professor Richard Davies to Join SPP as Professor in Practice

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Davies said: "Economics faces a fundamental re-think in coming years as the forces we face—demographics, technology and inequality to name just three—really start to bite. The next generation—including the students at world class universities—are worried, and they are right to be. Thankfully, there is room for huge optimism: we already know that better policies can improve outcomes. Now it is time to tune economics to the realities of policy and politics in the way that the ‘political economy’ of old did. That means knitting together policymakers, academics and the public to build a shared understanding of a new model, fit for the 2030s. The LSE and the School of Public Policy—its history, its students, its faculty and its goals—is uniquely well placed to help achieve this. I am delighted to be joining." 

Read more about the appointment here.



Alexander Evans

Can Democracy Win the Cyber Wars?

Professor Alexander Evans was invited to speak at the launch event of the International Affairs Forum of Traverse City at Northwestern Michigan College on September 22.

Watch Professor Evans' full lecture here.



Why Does Latin America Underperform?

The Group of Thirty has launched the report, Why Does Latin America Underperform? The Project Director for this report was Professor Andres Velasco. He was assisted in the research and development of the report by four of our students, Catalina Badinella, Mónica Palomino, Joaquín Marandino and Renzo Giraudo.

The report explores the intricate web of structural, financial, and political factors affecting economic outcomes in Latin America compared to similar countries outside the region. 

Read the full report here. | Watch the launch of the report here.



Javier Milei Means More of the Same for Argentina 

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco analyses how although Javier Milei, the right-wing Argentine populist and presidential hopeful, is being touted by some as the man who will save his country’s economy, his main calling card is not the soundness of his policies – some of which are truly bizarre – but his performance of indignation.

Read the full article here.



August 2023


Gene Frieda Appointed to Office for Budget Responsibility Advisory Panel

Gene Frieda hsa recently been appointed to the panel set up in 2011 to develop and scrutinise the OBR’s work programme and forecasting methods.

Frieda commented “As a member of the OBR’s advisory panel, I hope to explore ways to better link the feedback loop between markets and policies to how the OBR thinks about and projects the evolution of the UK’s debt dynamics. This should only add to the OBR’s credibility over time.”

Read about the appointment here.



Lula's Dance with Dictators

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco analyses how the current Brazilian president has enjoyed much international goodwill since returning to the presidency, but only because his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, was so thuggish and anti-democratic. Sadly, now Lula is consorting with tyrants who make even Bolsonaro look good.

Read the full article here.



July 2023

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America’s Love of Sanctions Will Be Its Downfall

Recently published in Foreign Policy, Professor Christopher Sabatini has written an op-ed on how the measures intended to punish autocrats are eroding the very Western order they were meant to preserve.

Read the full article here.


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The Politics of Cars in Uxbridge May Force Khan Into a U-turn on His ULEZ Crusade

Professor Tony Travers continues his commentary on ULEZ developments for the Evening Standard and how the next general election might pivot on car politics.

Read more.


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The South African Census Project

With funding sourced by Dr Joachim Wehner and Dr Daniel de Kadt, they have digitsed a collection of official and administrative publications produced by successive South African governments between 1866 and 1986, including a series of censuses (1866 – 1968) and a series of reports on education (1882 – 1986). These publications provide statistics and time-series data on a range of topics, including demographics, education, employment, housing, industry, marital conditions and public health, as well as insight into the policies of successive South African governments before and after independence from British rule.

Find them here.



Financing Universal Healthcare

Professor Alex Voorhoeve has co-authored a new report entitled Open and Inclusive: Fair Processes for Financing Universal Health Coverage that has been published by the World Bank, in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Bergen Center for Ethics and Priority Setting in Health. 

Read the full report here.



Reclaiming Human Rights in a Changing World Order

For the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Professor Christopher Sabatini has written an op-ed for the Financial Times that discusses the dangerous alliances countries in the global south are making with illiberal autocracies.

Read the full article here.



June 2023


Auctioning Airwaves: Behavioural risks in government

In this piece, Professor Geoffrey Myers, discusses behavioural public administration in the specific context of auctions to award licences providing rights to use specific frequency bands for cellular mobile services in parts of the radio spectrum.

Read the full article here.



Flexible Exchange Rates and Emerging Markets

In his most recent article for Project Syndicate, SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco explores how successful it is when emerging-market economies float their currencies in an attempt to insulate themselves from external shocks and gain the ability to set interest rates according to domestic objectives.

Read the full article here.


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ULEZ Expansion: Climate Changer Countermeasure or Political Backgrkound?

Professor Tony Travers comments on the war being waged over the new ULEZ expansion for the Evening Standard.

Read more.



If You Do Not Change Your Behavior: Preventive Repression in Lithuania under Soviet Rule

Eugenia Nazrullaeva has written a new paper for the CAGE working paper series alongside Mark Harrison of Warwick University. The paper looks at novel data from Lithuania, a former Soviet republic, in the late 1950s and the 1970s, to study the profile and behaviors of the citizens who became subjects of interest to the KGB.

Read the full paper here.



May 2023

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Does Your Local Council Reflect the Diversity of its Population?

For the NGO Migrant Democracy Project, Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego has published a report with Dr. Alex Bulat on how representative local councillors are of the communities they are supposed to represent, based on a case study of the London borough of Camden.

Read the full report here.



How the Far Left Paves the Way for the Far Right

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco writes about how Chileans elected a far-left constitutional convention which produced a text so bizarrely radical that nearly two-thirds of voters rejected it. Now Chileans have elected a new Constitutional Council and put a far-right party in the driver’s seat.

Read the full article here.



April 2023


The Green Transfer Problem

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco writes about how the $100 billion promised by rich year countries to finance developing countries's green transition in 2009 has yet to materialise. Another issue flagged by Velasco is how to ensure this money hsa the desired efffects.

Read the full article here.



LSE SPP Launches New Peruvian Scholarships for Public Service

LSE School of Public Policy is delighted to announce the creation of the Peruvian Scholarships for Public Service.  

These new scholarships will train future generations of public policy professionals who are ordinarily resident in Peru. By supporting those who would otherwise lack the financial means to study at LSE, these new scholarships will address skills gaps to promote the country’s continued economic development.

A launch event for the scholarships will take place on 18 April.

Read the full article here.



March 2023


Policymakers Keep Solving the Wrong Banking Problem

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco writes about a troubling precedent being set with banks and how this is catching depositors in the middle.

He says: "When a bank fails, the first response by policymakers and the public is to blame risk-loving speculators, greedy investors, or regulators asleep at the wheel. But quenching our thirst for moral adjudication is a poor basis for policy, because the truth is both simpler and more troubling."

Read the full article here.


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Why has no-one fixed Hammersmith Bridge?

In a piece for The Times, Professor Tony Travers offers solutions to the £163m bill for the Boat Race landmark that is still outstanding.

Read more.


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Professor Luis Garicano to join SPP as Professor of Public Policy in August 2023

Commenting on the appointment Professor Garicano said: "I am honoured to be joining the LSE School of Public Policy (SPP), returning to the university I know, and love. The SPP has a rapidly growing profile as rigorous, broad and modern policy school, and has flourished under the leadership of Dean Velasco. I look forward to playing a leading role in the LSE’s research community, which counts many of the world’s finest social scientists in its ranks. I am particularly delighted to be engaging with the SPP’s outstanding students, helping them to maximise their potential as scholars and as future policy-makers." 

Read more about the appointment here.



Latin America's Moral Failure

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco writes about how the world intervened in the Latin American military dictatorships between the 1970s and 1990s and how now Latin American governments cite "neutrality" over Ukraine.

He writes: "If there are no moral reasons for supporting Putin, and no pocketbook reasons, either, why are so many Latin American governments refusing to support Ukraine? One possible explanation is Pavlovian anti-Americanism: if the US is backing Zelensky, that is not a family photograph in which they wish to appear."

Read the full article here.


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London at a crossroads?

In a lecture for King's College, Professor Tony Travers looked to London and its government, economy and place within the UK and its need to be strengthened, supported and valued.

The lecture is now available as an article here.


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Brexit Deal could resurface Britain's 'healthy fundamentals' if EU relations strengthen

Professor Tony Travers on the new Brexit deal between the EU and UK may provide a “platform for the UK and the EU to create a more rational relationship” for CNBC. 

Read the full article here.



February 2023

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Spectrum auctions in Europe: The good, the bad, and the ugly 

Drawing on experience from the UK and other countries, senior regulator Professor Geoffrey Myers explains how to optimise the regulatory design of auctions, from initial planning to final implementation in a new open-access bookSpectrum Auctions offers unrivalled expertise for regulators and economists engaged in practical auction design or company executives planning bidding strategies.

More on the EUROPP blog here.


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HS2 faces more delays and cuts as UK government seeks to rein in costs

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by the Financial Times, in an article discussing delays and cuts to HS2.

He is quoted as saying: "Delaying but committing to the project just puts off the evil day when a chancellor has to make the final decision as to what to build."

Read the full article here.



January 2023


A Subsidy War Without Winners

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco writes about a brewing dispute between the United States and the European Union over clean-energy subsidies.

He says: "With the recent US and European moves, the green subsidy debate is heating up. Proponents of these policies describe them as an indispensable response to the existential threat of climate change, while skeptics claim that the massive deployment of resources will inevitably lead to rent-seeking and inefficiency."

Read the full article here.


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CBDCs are set to transform how payments are made

Dr Ousmène Jacques Mandeng has written an article for the Financial Times, looking at the development of digital currencies gathering pace around the world.

He writes: "The case for CBDC is a pragmatic one. They extend what central bank money can do, enhancing its utility to ensure it remains future proof. Part of a broader trend towards increasing diversification in payments, CBDCs support financial innovation and promote competition. That is a matter of fairness too. Since offering payment and settlement in central bank money is an advantage, alternative payment systems should have access to it."

Read the full article here.





December 2022


Latin America’s Democracies Hold Strong

In his most recent article for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco discusses the resilience of democracy in Latin America.

He writes: "Liberal democracy lives in statutes, rulebooks, and institutions. But, more importantly, it lives in people’s hearts and habits of mind. Democracy – whatever its imperfections – is now the natural system of government for the nearly 700 million people who call Latin America home."

Read the article on the Project Syndicate website here.


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Civic Data Innovation Challenge

This month, Dr. Omar Hammoud-Gallego won a grant from the Greater London Authority, the 2022 Civic Data Innovation Challenge. Congratulations!

The grant refers to a research project Dr Gallego bid for, as part of the Migrant Democracy Project, a new civil society NGO. Learn more here.



November 2022


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SPP Annual Lecture 2022

You can now catch up on the SPP Annual Lecture via our YouTube and podcast channels.

The 2022 School of Public Policy Annual Lecture featured a conversation between Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, and Andrés Velasco, Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy, who discussed the future of liberalism.

Read all about the Annual Lecture on our website here.



The Unbearable Uselessness of Crypto

Following the collapse of FTX, in his latest opinion piece for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco looks at the reality of the crypto industry.

He writes: "What is truly unforgivable is that in the 14 years since Bitcoin appeared, the crypto industry has failed to produce anything of value. What factories have been built with crypto? Which new goods and services are available? What government has raised money through crypto? Certainly not El Salvador, which adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and is now on the verge of debt default."

You can read the article in full here.



Brazil’s Lula joins leftist leaders pushing for change in Latin America

Professor Andrés Velasco was a guest earlier this month on the Financial Time's podcast Rachman Review, discussing the elections in Brazil and the changing political landscape in Latin America as a whole.

He said: "So what we have here really is a menu of offers, if you want, on the part of the political system which is very mismatched to what the electorate wants. Can that last for ever? I hope not. And I’m hoping that sooner rather than later, in some countries including my native Chile, you will have a rebirth of a stronger centrist offering."

Tune in to the episode here.



'Reclaiming Populism' Book Review

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez had written a book review of 'Reclaiming Populism: How Economic Fairness Can Win Back Disenchanted Voters' by Eric Protzer & Paul Summerville.

She writes: "My own experience, mainly as Deputy Minister of Social Development in my native Mexico, appears to bear out their hypothesis. On the ground in developing public policy, it becomes absolutely clear that individuals could not care less about GDP, per capita income or the GINI coefficient. What they do care a lot about is access to opportunity and social and economic goods and services. In other words, they are focused foremost not on inequality but on social mobility: they want to be better off than their parents were and give their children an opportunity for the same."

Read the full review here.



Emerging Europe's chronic distrust: Lessons from the region's COVID puzzle

A new book, co-edited by Professor Előd Takáts and Professor Piroska Nagy Mohacsi (LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa) has been published recently. The book, titled Emerging Europe's chronic distrust: Lessons from the region's COVID puzzle, looks at the impact of COVID and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Central and Eastern Europe. LSE contributors featured in the book are Professor Sir Tim Besley, Department of Economics; Professor Joan Costa-i-Font, Department of Health Policy, Professor Christopher Dann, Department of Economics.

"The Russian invasion of Ukraine places Central and Eastern Europe once again at the centre of international policy attention. The region is experiencing a sharp crisis: economies are slowing dramatically as Russian gas and energy supplies are being scaled down or cut altogether, while inflation is rising. Yet, most societies in the region are standing firm to confront aggression and its economic consequences, and all societies are rallying to welcome and support refugees from Ukraine – a sharp contrast to their rejection of refugees from the Middle East just a few years ago."

Find out more here.



Veneco Podcast: Episode 15 - Omar Hammoud Gallego

Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego has been featured as a guest on the Veneco Podcast, a compilation of weekly news, reports and analysis on democracy, social movements, human rights, and more in Venezuela.

He and host Juan Andrés Misle reflect on the history of asylum and refugee systems in Latin America and the challenges of adopting effective policies in light of the Venezuelan migration crisis. Listen to the episodes on the different podcast streaming platforms here:

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Early to Hike, Early to Thrive?

In his latest opinion piece for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco discusses the decision by several countries to hike interest rates early, and whether this was a policy mistake

He writes: "Every undergraduate economics student knows that containing inflation when costs are rising is tough, because firms will refrain from passing the higher costs on to consumers only if their sales are weak and prospects dim. This means that a given reduction in inflation will require higher interest rates, and hence weaker economic activity."

You can read the article in full here.



October 2022



Social Radio

Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego was a guest for a political radio program in Panama to talk about the Venezuelan migration crisis. He argued that the situation in Venezuela is so dramatic (94.5% of population in poverty) that governments in the region cannot stop them from leaving their country and should instead seek to regularise them for the benefit of all.

Listen to the interview here (in Spanish)



The Evening Edition with Kait Borsay

Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego was a guest on Times Radio to talk about the “migration crisis” in the UK in their Evening Edition with Kait Borsay.

He argued that the increase in asylum requests, while reaching its highest level compared to more recent years, simply follows a trend that other European countries are experiencing as well. I concluded by suggesting that the Home Office should deal with their immense backlog (over 100,000 people yet to be processed), and the government should increase resettlement of refugees to give people a realistic chance to get into the UK in a legal manner.

Listen to the show here (Dr. Gallego feature starts at 23.30).



Rishi Sunak will become the U.K.’s next prime minister

Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in an article from the Daily Mirror, following the news that Rishi Sunak will become the UK's next Prime Minister.

He said: "After the trauma of the last four or five months, even factions that do not support Sunak are going to give him a fair wind. They have to decide whether they want to win another election or spend a period out of government fighting with each other."

Read it here.



Bond Street station is finally open — just £500m over budget

Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in an article from the Times, discussing the opening of the Bond Street station on the new Elizabeth Line.

"For the past five months passengers travelling on London’s new Elizabeth Line could only peer through the carriage windows in frustration as the train sped through a deserted, and unfinished, Bond Street station. But at 5.30am tomorrow it will finally open — four years late and £500 million over budget."

Read it here.


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The lesson from the first round of Brazil’s election: Bolsonarismo is here to stay

Dr Christopher Sabatini has written an article in The Guardian, discussing the first round of the election in Brazil.

He writes: "The first lesson from Brazil’s election on Sunday is that public opinion surveys severely misfired. Just a few days before the contest, many reported a 15% lead for Luiz Inàcio Lula da Silva over the incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro; and many also predicted a Lula first-round victory. The second lesson is that, far from being a flash in the pan – as many had hoped – the rightwing populist movement Bolsonarismo is an organised political force, and it is here to stay, at least for the medium term."

Read the full article here.

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Hegemony in the Americas Has Been Turned on Its Head

Dr Christopher Sabatini has published an article through Foreign Policy, looking at the relationship between Washington and Latin American countries in the modern day.

He writes: "For decades, Washington was Latin America’s fulcrum on matters of immigration, trade, drug policy, democracy, and human rights. U.S. leadership produced a raft of free trade agreements and bilateral programs that seemed to advance these issues. But in recent years, the United States has become a hostage to this framework of engagement with the region."

Read the full article here.


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Reclaiming human rights in a changing world order

Dr Christopher Sabatini has edited a book, titled Reclaiming human rights in a changing world order.

The book, published by Chatham House, examines the threats to international and regional human rights in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. It offers insights and recommendations for activists, policymakers, and academics to better understand and address the challenges.

View a PDF of the book here.



Symbolic refugee protection: why Latin America passed progressive refugee laws never meant to use

Dr. Omar Hammoud-Gallego has published a blog post discussing Latin American refugee laws, their application and what they represent.

He writes: "In theory, refugees enjoy a wide variety of social and economic rights, ranging from free legal assistance in Nicaragua to the recognition of the right to refuge for people fleeing environmental disasters in Ecuador. The trouble is that most of these laws are hardly ever applied in practice."

You can read the full article here.



The Short-Term Effects of Visa Restrictions on Migrants’ Legal Status and Wellbeing: A Difference-In-Differences Approach on Venezuelan Displacement

Dr. Omar Hammoud-Gallego has recently presented his research at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC.

At the presentation, he discussed the development, determinants and effects of migration and asylum policies of three research articles examining the development of asylum policies in Latin America, the rationale behind the expansion of refugee protection in Latin America, and the effects of visa restrictions in a context of mass displacement and porous borders.

You can listen to a recording of the event here.


September 2022

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Welcome new School of Public Policy Students!

In September we welcomed over 250 new students to our programmes. Our new cohort represent over 50 nationalities and a broad range of professional backgrounds and areas of expertise. We are excited to welcome our new students to our growing SPP community of global policy change-makers.   

Read about our new cohort here.


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Bank of England intervenes to avert credit crunch, economic fallout

Professor Tony Travers has been featured in The Washington Post discussing the Bank of England's intervention following the fallout of the government's recent mini-budget.

He said: "They are prepared to risk unpopularity because they think it will work in the long term."

Read it here.


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Queen Elizabeth II was 'a figure of enormous stability for the UK'

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by France24, discussing Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

"Professor Travers describes a young constitutional monarch who hit the ground running at the tender age of 26, under the aegis of Winston Churchill. She presided over a post-war "period of extraordinary social and economic change in Britain, right away, through to today's information-driven age." And she will not just be remembered for her "longevity and continuity," explains Professor Travers, "but the way in which she did her job well.""

Watch it here.



God Save the Pound?

In his latest opinion piece for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco argues that the real problem with the United Kingdom's growing budget deficit and public debt is that they can constrain monetary policy and lead to uncertainty, complicate the inflation-unemployment tradeoff, and hinder long-term growth.

He writes, "Ultimately, a bet on a currency is a bet on the strength of the political institutions that undergird it. Are we to conclude that markets no longer believe in the fundamental solidity of British institutions?"

You can read the article in full here.


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After Queen Elizabeth’s death, Britain faces questions and uncertainty

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by the Washington Post, looking at the impact of Queen Elizabeth's death on Britain.

He says: "Britain has a separate head of state and government, and both have changed in the span of two days. The passing of a monarch and changing of a prime minister have happened before, of course, but it will be a profound moment for collective self-reflection in the U.K.."

Read the full piece here.


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Symbolic Refugee Protection: Explaining Latin America’s Liberal Refugee Laws

Dr. Omar Hammoud-Gallego has published a research article in the American Political Science Review, titled "Symbolic Refugee Protection: Explaining Latin America’s Liberal Refugee Laws".

The abstract reads: "What drove an entire region in the Global South to significantly expand refugee protection in the early twenty-first century? In this paper, we test and build on political refugee theory via a mixed-methods approach to explain the liberalization of refugee legislation across Latin America."

You can read the article in full here.


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Kwasi Kwarteng: baptism of fire for UK's new finance minister

Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in an interview with Yahoo News, discussing Kwasi Kwarteng's first policy announcement and its impact.

He says: "There is lots of pressure on Kwasi Kwarteng. He might have started out as believing in a smaller state and a more deregulated economy, but he's living in a world where the public expects almost exactly the opposite."

Read the full piece here.


Chile’s rejection of populism is an example for the world

Professor Andrés Velasco has been quoted in an article from the Financial Times, discussing Chile's recent constitutional referendum.

He says: "There will be a new constitution. The representation of women and ethnic minorities is now ensconced in politics, access to abortion will be broadened and gay marriage will remain legal. On values and inclusivity, Chile has moved forward and this will not change."

You can read the article in full here.



August 2022

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

We’ve travelled too cheap for too long: Are tourism taxes a good idea?

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed for an article with EuroNews, regarding the idea of introducing a tourism tax.

He is quoted as saying that such a tax "could be worth “hundreds of millions of pounds” a year."

Read it here.



Woke Politics Goes South

In his latest opinion piece for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco argues that the shortcomings of "wokeism" become even more jarring and dangerous when transposed to Latin America. 

He writes, "Authoritarian populists are smiling. The international media are fixated on Latin America’s “pink tide” of recently elected left-leaning governments, but perhaps they should instead start preparing for a right-wing wave of Bolsonaro and Bukele clones."

You can read the article in full here.


Omar Hammoud Gallego 2022

Book review: Latin America and Refugee Protection: Regimes, Logics and Challenges

Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego has published a review of the book Latin America and Refugee Protection, for the journal International Migration.

He writes: "The volume provides a much-needed comprehensive overview of scattered pieces of research on refugee policy in Latin America." 

Read it in full here.



On GPS: Rewriting a constitution

 Professor Andrés Velasco has been featured in an interview from CNN, discussing Chile's bid to remake its constitution.

Watch the video on the CNN website here.


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The Economic Complexity of Namibia

Dr. Miguel Santos has been interviewed by, discussing the economic complexity of Namibia, showcasing the work of the Growth Lab.

"Namibia has been grappling with three interrelated challenges: economic growth, fiscal sustainability, and inclusion. Accelerating technological progress and enhancing Namibia's knowhow agglomeration is crucial to the process of fostering new engines of growth that will deliver progress across the three targets."

Watch the video here.



Corruption in Ghana: People's Experiences & Views

Dr. Omar Hammoud Gallego has contributed several chapters to a new UN report, undertaking an empirical analysis of corruption in Ghana.

The report's introduction reads: "The main objective was to collect evidence-based information on forms of corruption affecting the population of Ghana in order to determine the prevalence of corruption and its prevailing typologies. The results of the survey will provide benchmark indicators that can be used to inform relevant policies and track future progress while ensuring international comparability with surveys of a similar nature carried out in other countries."

Find the full report here.



July 2022

Alexander Evans

Professor Alexander Evans joins the School of Public Policy

We are delighted to announce that Professor Alexander Evans has joimed the School of Public Policy, as Professor in Practice from August 2022.

Professor Evans will teach two brand-new graduate courses in the School of Public Policy: Anticipatory Policy-Making and Technology, Data Science and Policy. Learn more about his appointment here.



Argentina's Never-Ending Tragic Farce

In this opinion piece for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco argues that Argentina's latest bout of financial turmoil is following a familiar historical pattern. 

He writes, "Argentine voters are no strangers to financial turmoil, but they keep electing politicians who run large fiscal deficits and finance them by printing pesos. Could it be that the only way for politicians to show they want to save the economy is to destroy it first?"

You can read the article in full here.


Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

The Leader podcast: How successful are union train strikes?

Listen to Professor Tony Travers taking part on the Evening Standard's The Leader podcast, discussing the effectiveness and impact of pickets.

"To discuss why unions use strikes as a strategy, we’re joined by one of Britain’s leading transport experts, Tony Travers, professor at the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

"We discuss the complexities of the negotiating process, Mayor Sadiq Khan’s fabled “zero days of strikes” pledge back in 2016, government proposals to crack down on industrial action and what the future holds for passengers fares."

Listen here.



'Tory leadership contenders aren't trying to pitch to the general British population', says professor

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed over video on CNBC, discussing the Conservative party leadership election.

He said : "You have to remember who the electorate is in this election. It's a tiny, tiny portion of the UK population; that is, it's Conservative party members and their views are clearly very different to the average views of the British electorate."

Watch the interview here.



The genesis of bitcoin: how the crypto market started

Dr. Frank Muci has been featured in The Saturday Paper, discussing bitcoin.

The article reads: "The catastrophe also provoked unmistakable schadenfreude. The Atlantic led its coverage with an essay entitled “The Crypto Crash Feels Amazing”. Frank Muci, a policy fellow at the London School of Economics, told WIRED magazine that the collapse was “a run on nothing”."

Read it here.



London could introduce a tourist tax to fund TFL and earn 'hundreds of millions of pounds'

Professor Tony Travers has been quoted in an article from the Express, discussing the idea of a 'tourist tax' being implemented in London.

The article reads: "Professor Tony Travers of the London School of Economics told the London Assembly that a tourist tax could earn the city hundreds of millions of pounds a year. He suggested that any money earned could be used to fund TFL and to help the city operate the extensive network."

Read the full piece here.



MPA graduate awarded prestigious Diana Award 2022

We are delighted that Hasti Modi, a graduate of our MPA programme, was awarded the prestigious Diana Award 2022. Congratulations!

Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts. Hasti was recognised for her environmental initiatives in India, France and the United Kingdom.

Read more on the Diana Award website.



A poor country made bitcoin a national currency. The bet isn’t paying off

Dr. Frank Muci has been quoted in an article about the impact of president Nayib Bukele's decision to make bitcon the national currency of El Salvador.

The article reads: "““Bukele has shown that he cares more about public image than sound economic management,” said Frank Muci, a public policy expert at the London School of Economics who has studied El Salvador’s bitcoin bond. “But eventually the chickens will come home to roost, at a very high cost for the country.”"

Read the article on the New York Times here.



June 2022