The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown delivers GEG Special Address
Former UK Labour Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, delivered the GEG Special Address on 15 February 2011 in the University’s Examination Schools. Prime Minister Brown began his lecture with two probing questions which informed the remainder of his remarks that evening: “Why,” he asked, ”is it that this generation, the most technologically advanced, able to have great scientific advances… why is it that in 2011 people feel more insecure than they did ten years ago, or even fifty years ago?” And why, he continued, “is this insecurity so widespread, particularly in the Western countries, particularly in Europe and America?” Brown proceded to suggest that insecurity is bred not only by the financial crisis or the rise of Asia, but by forces which he deemed “more powerful and transformative than those that were at work during the Industrial Revolution” – namely, the global flows of capital and the global sourcing of goods.
Commenting on his lecture, GEG Visiting Fellow Margret Thalwitz noted, “He laid out options to the young audience on how to cope productively and effectively with the severe challenges they may face.” Emily Jones, GEG Project Associate, further observed, “I was particularly struck by his remarks on the growth and unemployment challenge facing Europe and North America. As he noted, the locus of the global economy has shifted and Western economies need to refocus on producing goods for the rapidly growing middle class in China and other emerging markets. This has left me pondering several questions, [among them], what exactly does this economic restructuring look like?”
Following the lecture, Prime Minister Brown took questions from the audience and offered signed copies of his recent book, Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation. Photographs from the evening are available on the GEG Facebook page.