Professor Giddens was director of the London School of Economics and he has been described as 'Britain's best-known social scientist since Keynes'.
The lectures are delivered from five major cities around the world, locating the lectures themselves within the cultural variety of the world across which they were broadcast.
In his fourth lecture, delivered from Washington DC, Professor Giddens examines the roles within the family and argues that the persistence of aspects of the traditional family, in many parts of the world is more worrisome than its decline. Professor Giddens believes that the most important forces promoting democracy and economic development in poorer countries are the equality and education of women and it is the traditional family that must be changed to make these possible. Sexual equality is not just a core principle of democracy, he argues, it is also relevant to happiness and fulfilment.