Centre for the Study of Governance & Society

Advancing Research on Governance Dilemmas Around the World

About the Centre

Housed in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society (CSGS) examines how both formal and informal rules of governance operate and evolve, and how these rules facilitate or imperil peaceful, prosperous, and ecologically secure societies.

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Featured News

Public Lecture

Elizabeth Anderson Lecture on The Work Ethic: Its Origins, Legacy, and Future

6:30pm, October 17th, 2019
Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 (4.03)

The work ethic was invented by Puritan ministers in the 17th century.  At the turn of the 20th century, sociologist Max Weber argued that it trapped workers in an “iron cage” of meaningless drudgery for the sake of interminable wealth accumulation.  In the 21st century, anarchist anthropologist David Graeber has condemned it for consigning workers to “bullshit jobs.”  They are only half right. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.


Jenna Bednar: Federalism as a Collective Problem-Solving Mechanism

4:30pm, October 8th, 2019
Strand Building S.31

Democracies set policy through broad input channeled through institutions. Those institutions shape the scope of the information that is generated by the population. When federalism is robust, states have sufficient independence to express their diverse perspectives, knowledge, and expertise on policymaking, contributing to the richness of the information space.


Patent Disclosure and England’s Early Industrial Revolution: A Lecture by Gary Cox

Did the English patent system help spark the Industrial Revolution? Most scholars addressing this question have focused on whether patents improved the economic incentive to invent. In contrast, Professor Gary Cox focuses on whether patents improved access to useful knowledge—via the requirement (instituted in 1734) that patentees provide technical specifications for their inventions.

Featured Faculty

Featured Faculty

Adam Tebble: Epistemic Liberalism and Open Borders

“The argument I make in favour of more open borders focuses not upon the interests of immigrants or of the already-resident, but upon those whom migrants leave behind in their countries of origin.  In this sense my argument represents something of a breakthrough, for it seeks to claim the interests of those left behind for those arguing in favour of the more liberal approach.”

Featured Faculty

Carmen Pavel: The Case for An International Rule of Law

“I show that states as means of institutionalized political control are structurally ill equipped to resolve the problem of ‘who guards the guardians,’ and thus international law and institutions can provide additional layers of oversight and control to insure that states remain within the legitimate bounds of their authority.”

What we are reading