Programmes

The Roads to Freedom

As part of the Legatum Institute's 'The Culture of Prosperity' programme, this series offers a progress report on the idea of freedom. The history of the developed west has been shaped by the increased degree of freedom exercised by individuals who have been able to escape the constraints that prevailed in the past. Previous generations have been stifled by prejudice and poverty, by class hierarchies, state repression and determined obscurantism. By the 1990s, and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, many considered that the advance of an agenda which recognised the legitimacy of free markets and the morality of individual liberty was well nigh inevitable. But in the past two generations advocates of freedom have also been confronted by significant obstacles. The lecturers in this series will draw conclusions from the study of the past while also seeking to find ways of removing the obstacles to freedom’s progress.

The programme is led by Hywel Williams, Senior Adviser at the Legatum Institute.

Roads to Freedom video playlist

Past Events


  • Brexit: What the Law Says
  • Speakers: Geoffrey Robertson QC, Doughty Street Chambers; Alan Renwick, University College London; Catherine Barnard, University of Cambridge Date: 13 July 2016 Details here
  • Britain and Europe: Culture, Country or Continent?

  • Speakers: Patricia Clavin, Oxford; Sir Simon Mayall, Greenhill & Co and Legatum Fellow; Brendan Simms, Cambridge; and Paul Stock, London School of Economics

    Date: 15 June 2016

    Details here
  • Putting Beauty into the Politics of Prosperity

  • Speakers: Dame Fiona Reynolds, DBE and Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

    Date: 3 May 2016

    Details here
  • Shakespeare on the Road to Freedom

    Speaker: A.N. Wilson, biographer, novelist and columnist

    Date: 7 April 2016

    Details here.
  • Crisis in Context: The Migrants' Story

    Speakers: Katya Andreyev, Oxford; Peter Heather, King's College; and Gary Gerstle, Cambridge

    Date: 27 January 2016

    Details here.
  • Heritage as a National Asset

    Speaker: Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman, Historic England

    Date: 7 July 2015

    Details here.
  • Is the Modern State Killing Scientific Creativity?

    Speakers: Professor Fiona Murray CBE, Associate Dean of Innovation and Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Professor Don Braben, Honorary Professor, University College London Earth Sciences and Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) and Professor Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics, University College London

    Date: 19 March 2015

    Details here.
  • Machiavelli’s Utopia: New Light on Machiavelli, Erasmus and More

    Speaker: William Connell, Professor of History and holder of the Joseph M. and Geraldine C. La Motta Chair in Italian Studies at Seton Hall University

    Date: 19 January 2015

    Details here.
  • Magna Carta—800 Years On: Why Constitutions Matter

    Speaker: Vernon Bogdanor, Research Professor, Institute for Contemporary British History at King’s College

    Date: 20 November 2014

    Details here.
  • The Future of the Union

    Speakers: Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government, Institute for Contemporary British History, King's College, London, Lord Elis-Thomas, former Presiding Officer, National Assembly of Wales and Dominic Lawson, journalist and commentator

    Date: 10 November 2014

    Details here.
  • Athenian Civilisation: The Glory that Endures

    Speaker: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

    Date: 4 September 2014

    Details here.
  • Slavery and Abolition: Then and Now

    Speakers: Frank Field MP, Chair of the Modern Slavery Evidence Review and Professor John Oldfield, Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation

    Date: 8 July 2014

    Details here.
  • The Nationalisation of Language

    Speaker: Simon Heffer, author and Daily Mail columnist

    Date: 8 May 2014

    Details here.