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Join Stein, a Visiting Professor with the Department of Political Economy at King’s, as he considers the state of democracy, its past and future with a panel of experts at the launch of How Democracies Live: Power, Statecraft, and Freedom in Modern Societies (Chicago University Press, 2022) on 26 May.

Taking place at King’s College London, the launch will see Stein and guests consider some of the key issues discussed in the book, including freedom, poverty, power and statecraft – while also considering what we need to do to protect and improve what Stein calls the “imperfect majesty of the democratic enterprise”.

The launch will take place from 17.00 – 18.00 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre at King’s and will be followed by a reception.

“In our era of democratic decline, Ringen returns to the great thinkers for a series of clear-eyed explorations about how to restore our systems of governance. A truly important book for dangerous times.”

--Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago

A sober and passionate defence of representative democracy as humanity’s best hope for self-government. Chock full of recommendations for repair of the public culture on which effective government depends. The hard case for democracy for unsentimental realists.”

--Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Ringen opens an erudite and accessible conversation about governance. The power of his bracing analysis of democracy – its value and what imperils it – sneaks up on you, and by the end you’ll have thought seriously about the things that matter most for the state of contemporary democracy.”

--Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School



Professor Stein Ringen

Stein Ringen is a Norwegian political scientist of states, governance, and democracy. He has published scholarly books and other works on topics ranging from the Scandinavian welfare state via constitutional matters in Britain and the US to dictatorship in China, and on inequality, poverty, income distribution, social and public policy, and comparative government. He is Visiting Professor of Political Economy at King’s College London, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, and has been an associate of Nuffield and St Antony’s Colleges in Oxford. He has held visiting professorships and fellowships in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Jerusalem, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and at Harvard University. He has held various research and government posts in Norway, including as Assistant Director General in the Ministry of Justice and Head of Research in the Ministry of Public Administration. He has been a consultant to the United Nations, and a news and feature reporter with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Event details

Anatomy Museum
Anatomy Museum, Strand Campus, King's College London, WC2R 2LS