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March 2018

May 2018


Matrilineal Kinship and Spousal Cooperation

4:30pm, May 10th, 2018
Bush House South 2.03

Dr. Sara Lowes joins us from the University of Bocconi to discuss how matrilineal kinship systems affect spousal cooperation and household welfare in Central Africa. Come along for an insightful discussion at the intersection of development economics and political economy. 


How Far to Nudge?

4:30pm, May 17th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 1.04

Professor Peter John of the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London sits down with our colleagues this May to discuss his new book, How Far to Nudge?  Join us for an insightful discussion on the history of behavioral economics and how citizens can “nudge” the nudgers back.


Elinor Ostrom’s Pragmatism

4:30pm, May 29th, 2018
Bush House South 2.03

Dr. Derek Wall of Goldsmith’s, University of London, discusses the pragmatic dimension of Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize winning work on governance, outlining its importance for radical democracy and green politics.

June 2018


Innovating Climate Governance

4:30pm, June 7th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 9.03

How do experiments in governance help us tackle the challenges of climate change? Which forms of policy-making provide maximal benefits for the environment? Join us for a seminar with Professor Frans Berkhout, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy and Professor of Environment, Society and Climate at King’s College London.

October 2018


The Meaning of Property in Things

4:30pm, October 4th, 2018
Strand Building, Council Room

What is property, and why does our species happen to have it? How are the origins of property relevant to governance in the 21st century? Join us for a seminar at the intersection of philosophy and experimental economics by Professor Bart Wilson of Chapman University.


Private Vs. Government Ownership of Natural Resources

5:00pm, October 11th, 2018
Strand Building S2.39

Which institutional arrangements help us use natural resources most effectively?  In this seminar, Professor Dominic Parker of the University of Wisconsin, Madison presents research from a natural experiment in land ownership and oil production on the Ft. Berthold Indian reservation in North Dakota.

Public Lecture

Adam Smith’s Theory of Organised Religion

6:30pm, October 18th, 2018
Bush House South Lecture Theatre 1

Join us for a public lecture by Professor Barry Weingast of Stanford University on Adam Smith’s Theory of Organised Religion: The Medieval Church’s Monopoly and its Breakdown in the Reformation. Drinks and nibbles reception to follow outside the lecture theatre. Registration is required for this event.


The Violence Trap: A Seminar with Barry Weingast

12:00pm, October 19th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 9.03

Why do developing countries fail to adopt the institutions and policies that promote development? Join us for a seminar by Professor Barry Weingast on his latest work with co-authors Gary Cox and the late Douglass C. North. 


Rational Choice and Political Behaviour

6:30pm, October 25th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 0.01 (Lecture Theatre 3)

Join us for a public lecture  on the competing roles of consequentialist and moral reasoning in democratic choice. Herbert Gintis is a former Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

November 2018


Comparative Governance Under Colonial Rule in Africa

5:00pm, November 13th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 1.02

How did British colonial rule alter the relationships between African citizens and their governments?  What are the causes of corruption and bad governance? Join us for a seminar with Dr. Liya Palagashvili, Assistant Professor of Economics at the State University of New York, Purchase College. 


Wealth Destroying States

4:30pm, November 22nd, 2018
Somerset House East Wing -2.07 (Learning Centre)

What are the causes of poor governance in Afghanistan? When do states help create wealth and when do they destroy it? Dr. Ilia Murtazashvili joins us from the University of Pittsburgh for a seminar on the causes of government predation. 

December 2018


Polycentric Public Reason and the Theory of Public Entrepreneurship

5:00pm, December 4th, 2018
Bush House North East Wing 8.19

What kinds of institutions help facilitate citizens’ acceptance of their rules of governance? In this seminar, Dr Brian Kogelmann of the University of Maryland will discuss how polycentric institutional arrangements in the tradition of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom complement the theory of public reason liberalism. 

February 2019

Book Launch

Book Launch: Kidnap, Inside the Ransom Business

6:00pm, February 6th, 2019
The Great Hall, Strand Campus

In this book, Dr Anja Shortland of King’s College London explores the dark underworld of hostage taking, uncovering a powerful private governance system that orders transactions between the legal and criminal economies. Join us on February 6 for the public launch of Kidnap: Inside the Ransom Business.


Stephen Skowronek on The Policy State: An American Predicament

6:00pm, February 28th, 2019
Bush House (S) Lecture Theatre 2 (4.04)

How has policy making transformed American governance over time? Join us for a panel discussion of The Policy State: An American Predicament by Stephen Skowronek and Karen Orren of Yale University. Panelists include Peter John (King’s College London) and Gary Gerstle (Cambridge). Drinks and nibbles to follow discussion.

March 2019

Public Lecture

Public Lecture by Jon Elster: Emotions in History

6:30pm, March 6th, 2019
The Great Hall, Strand Campus

Emotions trigger many human actions, notably in conflictual situations. The talk will first consider models of emotional choice versus rational choice, and then consider selected episodes from 18th century French and American political history to argue for the crucial importance of emotions of anger fear, and enthusiasm. Registration available here.


What Kind of Puppet Are You? Mario Rizzo on Rationality and Behavioral Economics

4:30pm, March 19th, 2019
Strand Building S3.30

The standard rationality assumptions of neoclassical economics were consciously adopted as unrealistic. They were designed to create “puppets” that would give utility functions a firm axiomatic foundations and generate determinate market behavior. Behavioral economics treats these puppet characteristics as a normative ideal by which the behavior of real-world individuals is to be judged.


On Morality and Street-Level Bureaucracy: A Perspective From Political Theory

4:30pm, March 26th, 2019
Strand Building S3.30

When citizens interact with the state, they encounter street-level bureaucrats—the welfare workers, police officers, counselors and educators responsible for implementing public policy and enforcing the law. By combining political theory with participant observation in a public service agency, Bernardo Zacka (MIT) argues that street-level bureaucrats are caught in a troubling predicament.

May 2019

Book Launch

Book Launch: Sheilagh Ogilvie on The European Guilds

6:30pm, May 9th, 2019
Bush House South East Wing 2.12

Guilds ruled many crafts and trades from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, and have always attracted debate and controversy. They were sometimes viewed as efficient institutions that guaranteed quality and skills. But they also excluded competitors, manipulated markets, and blocked innovations. Did the benefits of guilds outweigh their costs? REGISTRATION REQUIRED.


Larry Bartels: Political Inequality in Affluent Democracies

6:30pm, May 14th, 2019
Bush House (S) Lecture Theatre 2 (4.04)

Professor Larry Bartels (Vanderbilt) examines the relationship between public opinion and social spending in thirty affluent democracies over the past three decades. He finds that governments’ responsiveness to citizens’ preferences was highly skewed in favor of affluent citizens, who were generally less supportive of the welfare state than poor citizens were. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.


Roger Schoenman: We Love You, We Love You Not? Foreign Investment Policy and the New Right in Post-Communism

4:30pm, May 23rd, 2019
Bush House South 2.06

How have post-communist nations in Central and Eastern Europe navigated the dual pressures of attracting FDI and keeping their anti-business and anti-FDI promises to their electorates? Roger Schoenman (UC Santa Cruz) explores the cases of the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS), Hungary’s Fidesz, Slovakia’s Social Democrats under Robert Fico and Bulgaria’s GERB government.

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