Tuesday 26th November 2019


Richard Hoggart Building 137


Join us for a talk by Alexander Zevin, author of Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist (Verso, 2019). After the talk, PERC will host a discussion between Zevin and Grace Blakeley, author of Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation (Repeater, 2019), followed by Q&A.

Since 1843 the Economist newspaper has been the most tireless – and internationally influential – champion of the liberal cause anywhere in the world. But what exactly is liberalism, and how has its message evolved? Shifting focus away from normative definitions offered by political theorists, or ones that start from Locke or Smith or another great thinker, this talk will detail liberalism’s emergence as a coherent worldview in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe – rippling out from Spain and France, and reaching a singular political and economic synthesis in Britain. The Economist allows us to see clearly the way liberalism has grappled with the world historical challenges that came after this moment, and was defined by them: working class demands for democracy, imperial expansion, conflict, cooperation and ongoing dominion, and the ascendency of high finance within the global capitalist order. Examining turning points in the history of each – from the Irish Famine to the Opium Wars, the Reform Acts to Female Suffrage, and from Keynes and the gold standard to Big Bang – the Economist has never simply reported on the world, but directly molded it.

Alexander Zevin is Assistant Professor of History at the City University of New York and an Editor at New Left Review.

Grace Blakeley is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research and the economics commentator for the New Statesman.

Chair: Nick Taylor is Lecturer in Political Economy and CUSP Research Fellow at Goldsmiths University.


All are welcome and no registration is required. For details on how to find Goldsmiths, click here.