Social Policy Events Calendar

Public events, Research seminars series,
Event podcasts

We host a range of events across a broad spectrum of topics relating to social policy. Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to all.



Upcoming events



The normativity of marriage and the marriage premium for children’s outcomes

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 2 February 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm. Online event.

Speaker: Professor Florencia Torche (Stanford University)
Chair: Dr Berkay Ozcan

Children born to married parents have better health, behavioral, educational, and economic outcomes than children of unmarried mothers. This association, known as the “marriage premium” has been interpreted as emerging from the selectivity of parents who marry and from a positive effect of marriage. We suggest that the positive effect of marriage could be contextual, emerging from the normativity of marriage in society. We test this hypothesis using the case of Chile, where marital fertility dropped sharply from 66 percent of all births in 1990 to 27 percent in 2016. We find that the benefit of marriage for infant health was large in the early 1990s but declined as marital fertility became less normative in society, to fully disappear in 2016. Multivariate analysis of temporal variation, multilevel models of variation across place, sibling fixed-effects models, and a falsification test consistently indicate that marriage has a beneficial effect when marital fertility is normative and a weak or null effect when is not. Generalizing from this case, we discuss contextual effects of diverse practices and statuses.

Register to attend


Chris Wildeman

Does Incarceration Shape Trust in the State, Community Engagement, and Civic Participation?

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 9 February 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Speaker: Professor Chris Wildeman (Duke University)
Chair: Dr Berkay Ozcan

In this article, we provide the most complete assessment to date of how incarceration is associated with trust in the state, community engagement, and civic participation in the contemporary United States using data from the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS).

Register to attend


David Brady

Poverty, Not the Poor

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 16 February 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Speaker: Professor David Brady (University of California, Riverside)
Chair: Dr Berkay Ozcan

Scholars, commentators, politicians and the public tend to think about American poverty as a 'problem of persons.' The poor are in poverty because of individuals' bad behavior, risks, pathological cultures, or innate traits. This leads us to concentrate on the poor as individuals and distracts us from the systemic problem of high poverty in the U.S. On one hand, many aim to "fix the poor" by focusing on behavior and culture, mistakenly arguing that fixing behavior, eliminating risks, and improving culture would substantially reduce poverty. On the other hand, many "dramatize the poor" by focusing on emotive selections of poor people, exotifying and mischaracterizing the population in poverty. Several examples from recent research will be presented to show how both approaches concentrate on the poor and misunderstand poverty. Political and structural theories of poverty will be advanced as a better way to understand poverty and not just the poor.

Registration details will be available on Monday 1 February




Tense times for young migrants: Temporality, life-course, and immigration status

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Speaker: Dr Vanessa Hughes (Department of Social Policy, LSE)
Chair: Dr Timo Fleckenstein

This paper examines the intersection between immigration status, life-course, and the experience of time. Based on ethnographic research, it looks at how time and life-course transitions are experienced by young people who are in constant encounter with the immigration regime in the UK. The encounters at this intersection produce a complex landscape that young people must navigate during their transitions to adulthood, producing a messy and complex temporal matrix. This temporal matrix distinctly shapes young people’s lives and migration experience: a sense of waiting and feeling stuck before getting status; paradoxical adulthood transitions for young people throughout the application process; and long-term uncertainty that is produced as a result of the immigration regime. 

Registration details will be available on Monday 8 February



Book Launch Event

Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa

Hosted by the Department of Social Policy

Thursday 25 February 2021,  5:00pm to 6:30pm. Online public event.

Does dual citizenship reproduce inequalities?

Robtel Neajai Pailey grapples with this question and more in her engaging monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Drawing on rich life histories from over two hundred in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe, and North America, she examines socio-economic change in Liberia, Africa’s first black republic, through the prism of citizenship. Marking how historical policy changes on citizenship and contemporary public discourse on dual citizenship have impacted development policy and practice, Pailey reveals that as Liberia transformed from a country of immigration to one of emigration, so too did the nature of citizenship, thus influencing claims for and against dual citizenship. Her book develops a new model for conceptualising citizenship within the context of crisis-affected states while offering a compelling critique of the neoliberal framing of diasporas and donors as the  panacea to post-war reconstruction.

Speaker: Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey (Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy in the Department of Social Policy at LSE).
Discussants: Professor George Klay Kieh (Dean of the Mickey Leland-Barbara Jordan School of Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Texas Southern University), Dr Bronwen Manby (Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE Human Rights).
Chair: Professor Coretta Phillips (Professor of Criminology and Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy at LSE).

More information here


LSE Festival 2021

We Are All in This Together: has COVID-19 taught us how to save the world?

Hosted by LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World

Monday 1 March 2021, 2:30-3:30pm. Online public event

Speakers: Sanchayan Banerjee, Professor Nick Chater,
Dr Adam Oliver, Dr Ganga Shreedhar
Chair: Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Can the massive shift in the way we now relate to each other, and the rules we choose to live by, help us tackle other collective threats to humanity, like climate change? 

We need coordinated and cooperative collective action. Experts in behavioural public policy and sustainability discuss how the experience of the pandemic can be leveraged to enable new, transformative behaviours and policies.

More information here



Intersectionality, intimacy and inequality: repartnering, class and race/ethnicity among divorced women in the 'second phase' of life

Part of the seminar Series on Migration Ethnicity and Race

Tuesday 2 March 2021, 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Online public event

Speakers: Sarah Milton (Kings College London) and Kaveri Qureshi (University of Edinburgh)
Chair: Professor Lucinda Platt (Department of Social Policy, LSE)

Responding to increasing discomfort with the lack of diversity in studies of intimacy in later life, this seminar compares repartnering among middle class White British women and working class British Asian women in their ‘second phase of life’. bell hooks has written approvingly of the ‘second phase’ of life as a time, in mid-life after divorce and relationship breakdown, when women may move from a place of dependency and intimate inequalities towards stridently asserting their needs and desires.

More information here


Evelyne Huber

Poverty Among the Working Age Population in Post-Industrial Democracies (with some comments on inequality)

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 2 March 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Speaker: Professor Evelyne Huber (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Chair: Dr Timo Fleckenstein

Both pre- and post-tax and transfer poverty among the working age population have increased over the past three decades in post-industrial democracies. Economic and demographic changes, along with changes in labor market institutions are responsible for rising market income poverty. However, welfare states have also exhibited declining effectiveness in reducing poverty. We measure welfare state effort with social rights rather than expenditures, which allows us to separate the effect of policy from need, which jointly shape expenditure. We pool data from LIS, the OECD, and SILC (Eurostat Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) for 22 post-industrial democracies. 

Registration details will be available on Monday 15 February


understanding human need

Understanding Human Need: alternative perspectives

Hosted by the Department of Social Policy

Wednesday 10 March 2021, 4:30pm to 6:00pm. Online public event.

This online panel discussion will focus on a recently revised edition of the book, Understanding Human Need, by Hartley Dean.  Human need is a central but elusive concept of decisive significance for Social Policy at a time when humanity as a species is subject to a confluence of intersecting and, in several respects, self-inflicted existential threats. This new book not only reprises existing distinctions between ‘thin’ needs and ‘thick’ needs and between needs defined from the ‘top-down’ and those identified from the ‘bottom up’, but pays particular attention to the question of just what is human about human need. To do this the book revisits the radical humanist perspective to be found especially in the Karl Marx’s earlier writings on the characteristics of the human species and what it essential to being human.

Speakers: Professor Hartley Dean (Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the LSE) , Professor Ian Gough (Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion and Associate of the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Bath), Dr Tania Burchardt (Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion at the LSE), Professor David Taylor (Emeritus Professor of Social Theory and Social Policy at the University of Brighton).
Chair: Dr Kitty Stewart (Associate Professor of Social Policy and Associate Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the LSE).

More information here


Daniel Beland

Unidentical Twins? Comparing Social Policy Responses to COVID-19 in North America

Seminar series on International Social and Public Policy

Tuesday 16 March 2021, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Speaker: Professor Daniel Béland (McGill University)
Chair: Dr Timo Fleckenstein

In the social policy and health care literature, it is common to compare Canada and the United States, these North American “unidentical twins” that have so much in common and yet that are so different from each another in areas like health care and political institutions. How have these two “unidentical twins” responded to COVID-19 and how have political and institutional factors shaped their distinct policy responses to the crisis? Focusing on social protection, this talk compares the policy responses to COVID-19 in the United States and in Canada.    

Registration details will be available on Monday 1 March


Podcasts and Videos

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Podcasts and Videos

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Other event highlights


PhD Atrium exhibition 2020

Exhibition: Education for Impact: promoting wellbeing and equality

Hosted by LSE Arts

Monday 20th January to Friday 14 February 2020, Atrium Gallery, Old Building LSE

This transformative and inter-disciplinary exhibition showcased PhD research being undertaken in the Departments of Social Policy, Health Policy and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences under the broad themes of wellbeing and equality.

More information here.


OXO Gallery image- escalator

Exhibition: How Social Policy Research Shapes the World You Live In

Hosted by the Department of Social Policy

Thursday 10 January - Sunday 20 January 2019

gallery@oxo, OXO Tower Wharf

This comparative and contemporary exhibition showcased Social Policy research responding to global challenges in areas such as inequality, work, family, poverty, migration and education.

More details here.


Visions for Social Progress

Visions for Social Progress: The Future of Social Policy

Department of Social Policy Public Event

Panellists: Professor Bea Cantillon, Professor Philippe van Parijs, Professor Fiona Williams
Chair: Dr Timo Fleckenstein

15th November 2018

Further information


thinking outside the pink and blue boxes

Realising Aspirations? Gender, Ethnicity and Job Inequalities

Department of Social Policy Public Event

8 November 2018

Panellists: Dr Omar Khan, Professor Heidi Mirza, Esohe Uwadiae
Research presented by: Samantha Parsons, Professor Lucinda Platt
Chair: Nik Miller

Further information


Maro Matosian

Why is it Important to Pass the Domestic Violence Law in Armenia?

30 November 2017

Speaker: Maro Matosian
Chair: Dr Armine Ishkanian

Women’s rights NGOs in Armenia have been campaigning for the passage of a domestic violence bill for many years.  As the Armenian National Assembly debates the bill, there have also been heated debates between the defenders and critics of the bill. Maro Matosian, the Executive Director of the Women’s Support Center NGO in Armenia, gave a presentation on the latest developments and why, from the perspective of human rights and social justice, it is important for this bill to become law.  

Judicial review

The Value and effects of Judicial Review
By Varda Bondy, Professor Lucinda Platt, and Professor Maurice Sunkin
Seminar to launch the major research report- 2016

The first comprehensive independent study to consider the effects of judicial review principally from the perspective of claimants and their advisers. The findings provide significant new insights into the value of judicial review for claimants, policy and practice, and challenge many widely held assumptions.

More information.

Blowing the lid book cover.jpg 100 X 130

Blowing the Lid : Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens
By Stuart Feather, Daniel Monk and Dr Hakan Seckinelgin 
Department of Social Policy book launch and discussion- 2016

Stuart Feather in his book describes the Gay Liberation Front’s founding, its meetings in Central London (starting at the LSE), principles, fights over revolutionary practice, gender differences and transsexuality. He relates protests and confrontations often with Women’s Liberation against Miss World and the Festival of Light in detail, sometimes bitter, often hilarious. A participant in many of the actions described, he also includes contributions from many other activists.

More information.