The historian Niall Ferguson examines institutions outside the political, economic and legal realms, whose primary purpose is to preserve and transmit particular knowledge and values.

In a lecture delivered at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he asks if the modern state is quietly killing civil society in the Western world?

And what can non-Western societies do to build a vibrant civil society?

Producer: Jane Beresford.

Available now

55 minutes

Last on

Sat 14 Jul 2012 18:05 GMT

The Reith Lectures on Radio 4

The Reith Lectures on Radio 4

Archive recordings from the BBC's flagship annual lecture series going back to 1948