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STICERD Public Events and Lectures

STICERD and Mouradian Foundation

What would a fair society look like?

Daniel Chandler (LSE)

Monday 15 May 2023 18:30 - 20:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

In this talk, Daniel Chandler will explore how Rawls’s ideas can help us transform our societies for the better, drawing on his recent book, Free and Equal.

Our society faces multiple crisis — culture wars, unprecedented dissatisfaction with democracy, vast inequalities, a climate and ecological emergency — but where is the alternative? 

In his recent book, Free and Equal: What Would a Fair Society Look Like?, Daniel Chandler argues that the ideas we need are hiding in plain sight, in the work of the twentieth century's greatest political philosopher, John Rawls. Although Rawls revolutionised philosophy — he is routinely compared to figures such as Plato, Hobbes and Mill – his distinctive vision of a fair society has had little impact on politics, until now. 

In this talk Daniel Chandler will explore how Rawls’s ideas can rehabilitate liberalism as a progressive public philosophy, and point the way towards a practical agenda that would reinvigorate democratic politics and transform, or even transcend, capitalism.

The event will include a panel with Polly Toynbee, David Runchman, and Margaret Levi, and will be chaired by Oriana Bandiera.

Daniel Chandler is an economist and philosopher based at the LSE. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and history from Cambridge and the LSE, and was awarded a Henry Fellowship at Harvard where he studied under Amartya Sen. He has also worked as a policy advisor in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit and at think tanks including Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist, is a former BBC Social Affairs Editor. She has won two national press awards as Commentator of the Year and the George Orwell prize. Her books include, A Working Life, Hospital, Lost Children and Hard Work, Life in Low Pay Britain. With David Walker, other books include Unjust Rewards, The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? and The Lost Decade 2010-2020. Her latest book, published in June 2023, is An Uneasy Inheritance - My family and other radicals.

David Runciman is Professor of Politics at Cambridge University.  His books include How Democracy Ends (2018), Where Power Stops (2019) and Confronting Leviathan (2021).  His latest book is The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and Artificial Intelligence, which will be published in August this year.  He writes regularly about politics in the London Review of Books, where he is a Contributing Editor.

Margaret Levi is Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University and Bacharach Professor Emerita of International Studies at the University of Washington.  She is the former Sara Miller McCune Director and current faculty fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS).  She is Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and co-director of the Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub. Winner of the 2019 Johan Skytte Prize and the 2020 Falling Walls Breakthrough, she is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Association of Political and Social Sciences. 

Oriana Bandiera is the Sir Anthony Atkinson Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and a honorary foreign member of the American Economic Association, a fellow of the British Academy, the Econometric Society, CEPR, BREAD and IZA.  She is co-editor of Econometrica, president of the European Economic Association, and director of the Hub for Equal Representation at the LSE and of the Gender, Growth and Labour Markets in Low-Income Countries (G²LM|LIC) programme at IZA.  She serves on the council of the Econometric Society, on board of the International Growth Centre and as vice-president of the Collegio Carlo Alberto.

The event is supported by STICERD and the Mouradian Foundation

Find out how you can attend here.

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For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, by email: