Professor Amartya Sen FBA
THE BRITISH ACADEMY LECTURE
More about the British Academy Lectures
What is the State?Audio
The British Academy Lecture, delivered by Professor Quentin Skinner FBA, on 13 May 2008. The state is the name normally assigned to the agency that wields sovereign power over some determinate territory. To understand the concept, however, we need in addition to know whose actions properly count as actions of this agency, and hence as authentic expressions of the sovereign authority of the state. The lecture proceeds by way of offering a genealogy of various rival answers that have been given to this question in modern Anglophone legal and political thought, concluding with an assessment of the prevalent view that we may now be moving into a 'post sovereignty' era beyond the state.
What Fates Impose: Facing Up To UncertaintyAudio
The British Academy Lecture, delivered by Professor Mervyn King FBA (Governor of the Bank of England), on 1 December 2004. Risk, luck, fate, uncertainty, probability theory – all remind us that most decisions in life involve risk. We accept that lady luck has her part to play in our personal lives. But in our collective life the role of probabilities only rarely takes centre stage. Yet it is difficult to imagine an informed and useful discussion of most public policy issues without a careful analysis of the risks involved. This lecture discusses why it has proved difficult in collective decisions to understand, explain and manage risk. It takes as an example the current debate on pension provision in the United Kingdom.
The Life of Learning
In the fifth British Academy Lecture, delivered on 20 November 2001, Past President of the British Academy Sir Keith Thomas FBA considered the historical role of scholarship in national life. In this edited extract, he describes some of the public and personal imperatives that ruled the life of learning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.