Professor Michael Jacobs gives his inaugural lecture

On May 22nd Professor Michael Jacobs, Professorial Fellow and Head of Engagement and Impact at SPERI, gave his inaugural lecture which was entitled ‘Ideas and Power: reflections on politics, environmental crisis and economic paradigm shifts’.

Michael Jacobs‘ lecture drew on his experience as an academic economist, government adviser and environmental strategist to explore the role of ideas in political change. He asked how do academic theories and ‘frames of thought’ influence democratic debate and public policymaking, and what does this tell us about the roles of structure and agency, of economic interests and political activism, in how change occurs?

Reflecting on the critique of neoclassical environmental economics with which he was involved in the 1990s, Michael showed how that came to influence UK climate policy under the last Labour Government, and the Paris climate change agreement of 2015. He argued that today’s urgent need for new economic policies to address the crises of inequality and unsustainability will require a comparable effort to replace the simplistic models of neoclassical economics which underpin neoliberalism.

The full text of Michael’s lecture is available to read here.

Listen to the lecture and watch the accompanying presentation below.

All professors are given the opportunity to give an inaugural professorial lecture which is an opportunity to celebrate their research and mark a significant milestone in their career. We are delighted to be hosting a series of inaugural lectures in 2019 by professors at SPERI.

  • Professor Genevieve LeBaron, Director of SPERI, will give her inaugural lecture on 9th October 2019. More details will be shared in due course.
  • Professor Andrew Hindmoor, SPERI Research Fellow and Head of the Department of Politics, gave his inaugural lecture in February. Find out more and listen to the lecture here.

Sign up to our newsletter to be informed about future SPERI events.