Tuesday 8 December 2009

PVC's Lunchtime Seminar: 'Institutions'

A quick reminder about tomorrow's PVC's Lunchtime Seminar. Prof Jeremy Carrette in SECL has drawn together an interesting and diverse panel to discuss the notion of 'Institutions,' broadly defined. Institutions are part of the fabric of our social world. We live and work inside them, we are shaped by them and organised by them. They can range from social habits and behaviours to more formal organisations. They can be personal engagements, like marriage, and public international structures, like the EU and the United Nations. They can be physical buildings and invisible social contracts. They can create conflict and be mechanisms to resolve conflict. In the wake of the world economic crisis the politic of institutions returned to intellectual debate: banking institutions failed and government institutions prevailed. The crisis reopened the problem of individualism and government; it sparked old debates about freedom, power, individual choice and the very nature of our institutional life.

This seminar, following the style of the previous PVC seminar, takes the Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ format to explore the issue of institutions in the present global climate. Are institutions the source of knowledge and power in the contemporary global world?

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