Reith Lectures Archive: 1976-2011

Reith Lectures Archive: 1976-2011

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Reith: Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 4 10 JUL 2012

    Tue, 10 Jul 12

    Duration:
    58 mins

    The decline of civil society in the Western world is the topic of Niall Ferguson's final Reith Lecture in which he argues that the greatest mistake of the past 50 years was to allow the state to encroach on civil life, assuming it could do a better job than the people themselves. Encouraging more local activism by citizens will not just garner better results than declining government institutions, but will also fuel a more positive impact on the community. The question is - where to start?

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  • Reith: Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 3 03 JUL 2012

    Tue, 3 Jul 12

    Duration:
    54 mins

    Are we living through a time of creeping legal degeneration in the English-speaking world, asks the economic historian Niall Ferguson in the third of his 2012 Reith Lectures. Speaking at Gresham College in the heart of London's legal district, he examines the relationship between the nature of law and economic success, and asks just how credible the common law's claim to superiority over other systems really is.

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  • Reith: Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 2 26 JUN 2012

    Tue, 26 Jun 12

    Duration:
    53 mins

    Is financial regulation the disease of which it purports to be the cure, asks economic historian Prof Niall Ferguson in his second Reith Lecture. He argues that overly complex financial regulation is to blame for the 2007 financial crisis - not deregulation, as many others claim. The solution to getting the banks to behave, he says, is not more regulation but scaled back, simplified regulation and, importantly, full enforcement of the law.

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  • Reith: Niall Ferguson: The Rule of Law and its Enemies 1 19 JUN 2012

    Tue, 19 Jun 12

    Duration:
    54 mins

    Institutions determine the success or failure of nations and a society governed by abstract, impersonal rules will become richer than one ruled by personal relationships, says the economic historian Prof Niall Ferguson. But, he asks, are the institutions of the West now degenerating, as young people confront the fact that they must live with the huge financial debt generated by the baby boomers? And is there a way of restoring the compact between the different generations?

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  • RLA: Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 3 20 SEP 2011

    Tue, 20 Sep 11

    Duration:
    54 mins

    Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director-general of MI5, the British security service, gives her third and final BBC Reith Lecture, entitled Freedom. She discusses policy priorities since 9/11 and reflects on the Arab Spring, and argues that the West's support of authoritarian regimes did, to some extent, fuel the growth of al-Qaeda. The lecture also considers when we should talk to "terrorists".

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  • RLA: Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 2 13 SEP 2011

    Tue, 13 Sep 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director-general of MI5, the British security service, gives the second of her BBC Reith Lectures, entitled Security. She argues that the security and intelligence services have a good record of protecting and preserving freedom, but concedes that the use of water-boarding by the United States has not made the world a safer place. "Torture is illegal" and "never justified," she says.

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  • RLA: Eliza Manningham-Buller: Securing Freedom 1 06 SEP 2011

    Tue, 6 Sep 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former director-general of MI5, the British security service, gives the first of her BBC Reith Lectures, entitled Terror. On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States she reflects on the lasting significance of that day. Was it a terrorist crime? An act of war? Or something different?

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  • RLA: Aung San Suu Kyi: Dissent: 05 Jul 2011

    Tue, 5 Jul 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Aung San Suu Kyi examines what drives people to become dissidents in the second of her 2011 Reith Lectures, entitled Dissent. The Burmese pro-democracy Leader reflects on the history of her own party, the National League for Democracy and explores the meaning of opposition and dissidence. She also explains her reasons for following the path of non-violence.

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  • RLA: Aung San Suu Kyi: Liberty 28 Jun 2011

    Tue, 28 Jun 11

    Duration:
    54 mins

    Aung San Suu Kyi discusses what freedom means in the first of her 2011 Reith Lectures, entitled Liberty. The Burmese pro-democracy leader reflects on her own experience under house arrest in Burma, exploring the universal human aspiration to be free and the spirit which drives people to dissent. She also comments on the Arab Spring, comparing the event that triggered last December's revolution in Tunisia with the death of a student during a protest in Burma in 1988.

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  • RLA: Martin Rees: Scientific Horizons 4 2010

    Tue, 22 Jun 10

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Astronomer Royal Professor Martin Rees explores how fast the world is moving in the 21st Century, in the final Reith Lecture from his series 'Scientific Horizons'. Speaking at the Open University in Milton Keynes, the home of online learning, he acknowledges how the internet and other technologies have transformed our lives.

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