Events & Culture

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lecture Online Event

Power and Impunity: What Donald Trump and Boris Didn’t Learn from the Ancient Greeks

Are we living in a world marked by a new impunity of power? Political leaders discard established norms and taboos that have guided the behaviour of their predecessors and, in doing so, they win popular support from new areas of society, including the disengaged and excluded. Across the world, in domestic politics, rhetoric is seemingly preferred over truth; ‘fake news’ over traditional media; and emotion over expertise. How did we get here? Our notions of the good society, of the responsibility that comes with power, and, of course, democracy and its discourse, stem from ancient and classical Greece. Our deepest sense of Western values, embedded in education curricula across our societies, emanates from classical Athens. Is it no longer of use or value? Are we now judging utility and cost differently? If so, how and why are our leaders safe in doing so?


Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow, Clare College, Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge

Mike Cox, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, LSE; Director of LSE IDEAS

Johanna Hanink, Associate Professor of Classics at Brown University


Paul Kelly, Professor of Political Philosophy, Department of Government, LSE

Organised by Hellenic Observatory at LSE as part of the project 21 in 21: Celebrating 2021 in 21 Encounters project.