Read about the School of Public Policy's impact on society.

The LSE School of Public Policy is committed to the promotion of democratic values and the use of reasoned judgement in the pursuit of public service.

Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of LSE School of Public Policy



May 2022


The Beverage Report Podcast: An interview with Professor Andrés Velasco 

In this Beverage Report episode, the hosts speak with Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy at LSE.

He talks about his role as the Minister of Finance in Chile. He also explains the need for unconventional fiscal policies in the post-pandemic world, and why it is essential for policymakers to understand the feedback loops between medical and economic factors.

Listen to the episode here.

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Years Late, London's 'Game-Changer' Subway Line Set to Open

In an article to mark the opening of the new Elizabeth Line, Professor Tony Travers has been quoted discussing the impact the project's delay has had.

He said: "But it was built — after a lot of effort and over a very long period of time — for a different economy. Its entire economic case was very heavily predicated on the continued growth of the economy of central London."

Read the full article here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Labour takes key London councils but makes modest gains elsewhere

Professor Tony Travers was featured in an article from MSN News, discussing the impact of the recent local elections.

He said: "The Conservatives have to balance how many MPs they are willing to lose in London, the South East and the South West, in order to protect the “Red Wall” seats won in 2019."

Read the full article here.


SPP students awarded runners-up prize at the Turner MIINT Competition 

Team EmpowHER beat over 40 competitors from schools around the world and be named as overall runners-up and audience choice winners in the Turner MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) competition. 

Read more


Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

As scandals overshadow vote, UK PM Johnson faces election test

Professor Tony Travers was interviewed by Yahoo! News, discussing the potential results of forthcoming local elections in the UK.

He said: "These elections are without doubt the biggest test of Boris Johnson since the 2019 general election and come after what has been a very difficult time for him and his government."

Read the full article here.


April 2022


SPP students launch the 10th edition of the Public Sphere Journal of Public Policy (PSJ)

The Public Sphere Journal is is a journal of international policy studies produced by SPP students. The launch of the10th edition, centering on the theme of “social impact”, was celebrated with a special launch event featuring a panel discussion hosted by SPP Dean Andrés Velasco.  

Find out more here.


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How to Get by Without Russian gas

In this commentary for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco and Dr Marcelo Tokman draw lessons from Chile's successful experience managing an energy supply shock in mid-2007.

They write, "In 2007, Chile was as dependent on imported natural gas from Argentina as Germany is today on natural gas from Russia. But in the face of a sudden supply shock, the Chilean government was able to mitigate the economic damage and lay the foundation for the country’s shift to renewables."

You can read the article in full here.



Labour daren’t say it, but some Tory strongholds could be within reach

Professor Tony Travers has been featured in an article from The Guardian, discussing whether Labour might see successes in historic Tory strongholds.

"Look at this political dividing line. Neighbouring Camden and Westminster have near-identical social and economic profiles, according to Tony Travers, ranging from super-rich Hampstead and Belgravia to abject poverty – yet with utterly different politics."

Read the full article here.


SPP student awarded Young Diplomat of the Year by Diplomat Magazine?

SPP EMPA student Rasha Haddad has been named Young Diplomat of the Year by Diplomat Magazine, at their IHG DIPLOMAT Of the Year Awards 2022. Congratulations!

Rasha is the first Secretary at the Embassy of Lebanon to the United Kingdom. Read more about the awards here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Will local elections put the brakes on low-traffic neighbourhood schemes?

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by The Guardian, discussing the impact of local elections and how local councils can connect with voters.

He said: "And people say, yes, of course we do want all this, but we don’t want it to affect our capacity to get about. It’s a perfectly respectable position to hold in a democracy. Politicians volunteer to square off these conflicts. That’s what they are there for."

Read the full article here.

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SPP students recognised with best presentation prize at the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN)

Congratulations to our School of Public Policy (SPP) student team who have been recognised with a best presentation prize at the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) competition and as winners of the SPP Santander challenge 2022.

Hear more about their experience and their advice to future participants here.

March 2022

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Russia faces struggle to pay bondholders – rating firms 

Ousmène Mandeng has been quoted in an article for S&P Global, discussing the financial situation in Russia currently and discussing the effects of sanctions.

He said, "I find the fact that Russia was able to make the coupon payments utterly perplexing, to say the least, and severely undermining [to] the whole purpose of isolating Russia financially and impairing its ability to wage the war."

You can read the article in full here.


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Democracy is the Next Identity Politics

In this commentary for Project SyndicateProfessor Andrés Velasco catalogues how Russia's war against Ukraine has spurred renewed global appreciation for liberal values.

He writes, "In recent years, many young people in rich democracies have been in a funk over the virtues of democracy and liberalism. But the widespread condemnation of Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine points to the emergence of a noble strand of identity politics based on the shared values of freedom, dignity, and respect for human rights."

You can read the article in full here.



SPP students take part in the Global Public Policy Network event 2022

Congratulations to all of our SPP students who took part in the annual GPPN conference this month.

The selected students were able to take advantage of being a part of the prestigious GPPN network of seven of the top global policy schools, to connect and network with over 100+ participants from around the globe. Twenty-five teams from across the network were given the opportunity to put their policy skills into action to actively identify and address an important policy challenge.

Read more here.

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As Europe opens it doors to fleeing Ukrainians, Britain adopts a ‘do-it-yourself’ asylum plan

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in the Washington Post, discussing the British asylum plan for Ukrainians fleeing war.

He said: "But they [the Government] are suddenly being faced with the public having a completely different view of asylum seeking in this situation, and they are having a very hard time adjusting because they’ve spent 20 years trying to keep immigrants out."

Read the article here.

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‘Spring of discontent’: wave of strikes looms for Covid-hit railways

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by The Guardian about possible strike action on the railways.

He said: "The government, in a curious way by guaranteeing the income, has re-empowered the unions. They can use their muscle in the normal way because the government and Khan still want to keep the tube and the national railway running."

Read the article here.

February 2022

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Russia’s FX reserves slip from its grasp

Ousmène Mandeng has been quoted in the Financial Times, discussing the current economic situation in Russia and central bank reserve management.

He said: "Foreign exchange reserves are not held by central banks. Securities and money never move, everything is external . . . In the case of securities, central banks would ask their brokers to sell the asset in question."

Read the article here.

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‘We’re going from one crisis to another’: Tories fear even PM’s ‘mayoral magic’ can’t save him

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in an article for iNews, juxtaposing the Prime Minister's current situation with his Mayoral term.

He said: "So the mismatch between the scale of the job and the particular approach of the Prime Minister, where he doesn’t have a person at his side who’s got a grip on it like he did in City Hall, is all the greater."

Read the article here.

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One English council’s painful journey into investing

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in an article from The Financial Times, regarding a council's decision to generate income with a portfolio of investments and loans.

He said: "Councils have been put under enormous pressure to find ways to increase their revenues. It is hard to tell from the outside but Warrington may have done relatively well."

Read the article here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

As Boris Johnson seeks a reset, more Tory lawmakers defect

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in an article from The Indian Express about the Prime Minister's new 'levelling-up' initiative.

"It’s a completely consensus policy, across British politics," Professor Travers said. "The opposition doesn’t oppose it — they just want more of it. But deindustrialization as an issue has gotten caught up in politics and populism."

Read the article here.


Sunak’s energy rebates won’t even come close to helping people with soaring bills

An article in The Guardian discusses the expected increase in energy prices and bills, and the government's proposed support package

Professor Tony Travers was quoted in the article, warning "that as this is just a one-off, when council tax bills soar next year the blame is likely to fall on hard-pressed local authorities, not on Westminster. “Many councils will try to make more cuts to keep that rise down,” he tells me – but there is no more to cut."

Read the article here.

Vanessa Rubio

Professor Vanessa Rubo-Márquez invited to Chatham House

We are excited to share that as of November 2021, Professor in Practice Vanessa Rubio-Márquez has been invited as an Associate Fellow for the US and Americas Programme at Chatham House.

Here she will be working on policy-analysis and policy dialogues in the Western Hemisphere - congratulations, Professor Rubio-Marquez!

January 2022

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The School of Public Policy launches the LSE-Fudan Global Public Policy Hub

The LSE-Fudan Global Public Policy Hub is a subcentre of the LSE-Fudan Research Centre for Global Public Policy. It supports collaborative research on global public policy, fosters multi-disciplinary cooperation and enhances communication between Fudan and LSE to generate research of global impact.

Dr Bingchun Meng, co-director of the LSE-Fudan Global Public Policy Hub, said: "I am very excited about this new collaboration between LSE and Fudan University. I look forward to working with colleagues from both institutions to develop a vibrant research agenda and to build the Hub into a leading forum for academic debates on global public policy."

To mark its launch, an interdisciplinary panel of experts will be discussing key public policy challenges that China and the world faces post-pandemic. You can register for the event, taking place 21 February at 6.30pm here.

Check out our website to find out more.


Argentina's Imaginary Miracle

In this commentary for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco and Eduardo Levy Yeyati argue that the data do not support bullish assessments of the Fernández administration's economic record.

They write, "The oldest statistical trick in the book is to label as growth what is really just a rebound after a massive output dip. That is exactly what has happened in Argentina, where the rapid economic rebound in 2021 came as no surprise and does not look especially healthy or sustainable."

You can read the article in full here.


Populism and global unrest: How nations adjust

The emergence of polulism started even before the pandemic. In the context that Covid and its economic and social impacts have deepened social divides and distrust, polulist nationalist movements are challenging the values of globalisation and international institutions. 

The Deans of the world's top public policy schools will discuss populism and its impacts on international security relations and foreign policy when countries are reopening their borders and seeking to recover their economies. 

The event organised by the Global Public Policy Network will take place on 25 January 2022 and will see the participation of Professor Andrés Velasco.


Climate change's challenge to UK's ageing railways

The UK was a pioneer of the railways. However, climate change is causing damages to the country's ageing railways system, and the cost of those damages has risen significantly over the past decade. 

Professor Tony Travers says on Financial Times that to prepare the network for climate change would “cost a substantial amount of money,” and: “It is not at all clear that is available.

Read the full article here.


Past News


December 2021


The Political Center Does Have Meaning

Professor Andrés Velasco argues that centrist politicians can and do represent a distinct - and indispensable - set of ideas in this commentary for Project Syndicate.

He writes, "Centrist politicians accept some ideas from the left and some from the right, making it all too easy to dismiss them as unprincipled cynics. But not only can centrism represent a distinct set of ideas; it is also necessary for protecting democracy against populist authoritarianism."

You can read the article in full here.


The fight for the future of Chile

Professor Andrés Velasco commented on the Chilean presidential election in an article on Financial Times. According to the professor, 'Chile is a country which has changed socially at breakneck speed and become a more open and progressive society.' However, the next president will have to face serious divisions in many aspects that the country is having.

The professor also said that the outcome of the election was still hard to predict. 

Read the full article here

Portrait photo of Joachim Wehner

Audits strengthen electoral accountability in South Africa

Dr Joachim Wehner contributed to the article 'Audits strengthen electoral accountability in South Africa' published on The Journal of Politics. Starting the article with the question 'Does information about government performance and corruption shape voter behaviour?' the authors examined different answers that provide various perspectives on the topic.

Read the full article here


Even fewer could be travelling round London by 2030 as 'hybrid' working becomes norm

The number of trips in London is expected to be lower by the end of the decade because the 'hybrid' working model is becoming more common.

Professor Tony Travers is quoted on Evening Standard: 'The Government brought this situation about for good reason, but working from home became more embedded than anybody would have imagined,' he says, 'That raises the question now for the Government: do they want to revise their messaging about working from home to encourage people back to work?'

He also estimates: 'The Government faces the dismal choice between continuing bailouts of £1bn to £1.5bn a year or radically reducing the scale of public transport in London, which risks kicking off a spiral of decline.'

Read more here.


Sadiq Khan stages last-ditch battle to stop the London Underground going down the tube

TfL is facing a financial problem. The Mayor of London expects a full £1.7bn bailout from the government to keep services running until March 2023. Meanwhile, Westminster is expected to offer the bare minimum funding of £500m that can buoy Transport for London until March next year. 

Professor Tony Travers was quoted on The Telegraph: 'There is a real risk London will face substantial reductions in its transport system at a time when the central London economy is attempting to recover.'

Read the article here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Boris Johnson's interventionist approach to industry defies UK election vow

An article on Financial Times criticises the interventionist approach to struggling industries that the Prime Minister has applied on multiple occasions. Critics say this policy lacks overarching stratergy. 

Professor Tony Travers commented on that: 'It is a very hyper-pragmatic approach, which is not at odds with the Conservative tradition of pragmatism, but there is a danger that he's drifting away from Margaret Thatcher's conservatism and towards a more Ted Heath approach.'

Read the article here.


Why has Chile Embraced the Extremes?

Professor Andrés Velasco blames the mistakes of center-left leaders for the polarized nature of the country's presidential election in his latest commentary for Project Syndicate.

He writes, "Many Chileans are frightened, and others are angry – not least because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic squeeze. But the political failures of the center-left also help to explain why the far right and the far left will contest the second round of the country’s presidential election."

You can read the article in full here.

November 2021


When should democratically derived choices in the past bind our current and future democratic choices?

In the newly published podcast of the TRIUM Connect podcast series, Professor Andrés Velasco participated in the discussion about democratic choices and their impacts on the future ones. The podcast aimed to find the answer for the question of 'How and when should we decide today what areas of future public policy we are not prepared to trust our future selves to make wisely?'

Listen to the podcast here.

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The 24-hour strike put the Tube network's future at risk

On Saturday 27 November, a 24-hour strike took place on more than one Tube line in London. The strike was a dispute over driver rotas which can wreck members' work-life balance, according to the Tube union RMT. The action affected central London business since last weekend, they were busy for Black Friday sales. The strike of RMT will also have an impact on the reintroduction of the Night Tube.

Professor Tony Travers said on BBC News: 'It appears the Tube unions are prepared to ignore the perilous state Transport for London is in. Most people now know how to work from home, so there's a risk the strike will encourage a 'managed decline' of the underground with fewer jobs.'

Read more here.


The project 'London Voices' helps Londoners to shape their city

Dr Omar H Gallego participates in the project 'London Voices', helping citizens have more knowledge and opportunities that can help them shape their future. The research of the project studies the mechanisms that can facilitate equal, inclusive, representative civic and democratic participation.

Read more about the project here.

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A major downsizing in the HS2 project

A change in the HS2 plan has been announced. According to the prime minister, the downsizing aims to save tens of billions of pounds. 

Professor Tony Travers commented on the major change: 'It won’t bring as much capacity and speed as the original HS2 would have in many places, but in some cases it will bring improvements to existing rail that are better than the HS2 and arrive more quickly assuming they can all be delivered.'

Read more here.


How does bureaucracy matter for development?

Professor Adnan Qadir Khan and the other authors of the column "Bureaucracy and Development" on VoxEU argue that effective states are central to economic development. 

Discussing the capacity of bureaucracy to support development, the authors write: "Whether bureaucracies can innovate and adapt to future challenges will have important economic implications – we hope that future research will help tackle these challenges."

Read more about her appointment here.

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Local Government Finance - the future

Professor Tony Travers participated in the event 'Sustainable council finance in a post-COVID-19 world' organised by Local Government Association.

His presentation - 'Local Government Finance - the future' can be found here.


EMPP alumna appointed as the Chief Healthcare Quality and Access Officer at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Dr Laura Squire OE gained an Executive Master's degree in Public Policy from LSE. This week, she has begun her new role as the Chief Healthcare Quality and Access Officer at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

She commented on her new role: "As we drive forward the transformation, we need to keep striking that balance, doing things differently and innovatively whilst always keeping in mind what this means for patients."

Read more about her appointment here.

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Britain's Boris Johnson should be basking in a global moment. Instead he is mired in 'sleaze.'

Professor Tony Travers is quoted on an article published on The Washington Post. The article is about the British prime minister whose public approval ratings fall to the lowest level on record. 

Commenting on the situation of the prime minister, professor Travers says: “For him, all this couldn’t have come at a worst time.”

Read more here.

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The trouble with the top one per cent of earners

On an article published on PSNews, Professor Stephen P. Jenkins writes about the top one per cent of income earners in Australia and those people's influence on the rest of the country.

He writes, ''While national differences are difficult to assess because of comparability issues, Australia’s lack of mobility among its top 1 per cent appears to be more pronounced than that found in other countries.''

Read more here.


Latin America's Monster Movie

Professor Andrés Velasco outlines Latin America's post-pandemic problems in his latest piece for Project Syndicate.

He writes, "Standard economic growth theory maintains that poor countries should gradually catch up with the rich. Latin America is the exception that confirms the rule: for the foreseeable future, it will fall even further behind."

Read more here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

The story of Slough Council

Professor Tony Travers spoke to The Sunday Times about the financial gambles taken by local council authorities.

He said, "There will still be more councils running into financial difficulties, so there is still pressure on local councils to do something."

Read more from Professor Travers here.

October 2021


Advanced Macro-Economics

Professor Andrés Velasco has co-authored a new book, 'Advanced Macroeconomics: An Easy Guide' with Filipe Campante and Federico Sturzenegger.

Published by LSE Press, the book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in economics & public policy.

You can read the book for free here.


Leading the debate at Party Conferences

Professor Tony Travers led two high-profile panel debates at the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences earlier this month.

At the Labour Party Conference, Professor Travers led a panel on 'How can trade and investment help all UK regions thrive?' with insightful contributions from the Shadow Financial Secretary, the leaders of Bradford and Liverpool, the TUC Union, and LSE trade expert Riccardo Crescenzi.

At the Conservative Party Conference, Professor Travers asked 'How can innovation policy level up the UK?' alongside new Science Minister George Freeman MP, Northern Research Group Director Simon Fell MP and LSE growth expert Dr. Neil Lee.


Remember Me

We are thrilled to share the news that SPP alumna Toluwalola Kasali's (MPP, 2020) documentary 'Remember Me' has received five Official Selections at International Film Festivals, including an Award.

Remember Me is a short documentary that tells the story of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to the Boko Haram conflict in the northeast Nigeria and highlights some of their experiences living in camps and host communities.

Toluwalola told us: "These recognitions are a testament to the power of humanity and the stories of the people behind the numbers - the experiences, strength, resilience, and dreams of Internally Displaced People. I am grateful to be a part of helping to tell their stories."

You can learn more about 'Remember Me' here.


Nation-Building 101

Professor Andrés Velasco and Professor Adnan Khan explore the basics of nation-building in a jointly-written piece for Project Syndicate.

They write, "Nation-building boils down to “expanding the circle” of moral concern. That is why successful nation-states – large or small, rich or poor – have one thing in common: citizens’ sense of a shared past and future."

Read more here.

September 2021


The Public Sphere Journal 2022 - Social Impact

The Public Sphere Journal, the student-run publication of the School of Public Policy, is pleased to announce that submissions for the 2022 issue are now being accepted.

The Journal is currently seeking submissions related to the theme of Social Impact, with a focus on innovative approaches that the private sector, public sector, and third sector can take to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

If you are interested in featuring, send in your entries before October 4th.

More information can be found here.


COVID-19 Blog shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award

The School of Public Policy's COVID-19 Blog has been shortlisted for the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year Award by The Times Higher Education.

The Award Ceremony will take place on Thursday 25 November, and more information can be found here.

Congratulations to everybody involved!

Vanessa Rubio

Will Mexico’s Economic Rebound Be Temporary?

Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez assesses the economic situation in Mexico in her latest op-ed piece for Americas Quarterly.

She writes, “Facts, not words” — that was the slogan Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador chose to promote his major September 1 speech to the nation. But a closer look at the facts does not suggest optimism about the future of the Mexican economy."

Read more here.


LSEPPR Volume 2 - Reciprocity Across the Life Cycle

The latest issue of the LSE Public Policy Review, published by LSE Press, is out now. All six articles are available to read for free.

'Reciprocity and the State', written by Professor Sir Tim Besley, outlines how norms of reciprocity play a role in building strong and effective states.

Written by Professor Nicholas Barr, 'Pension Design and the Failed Economics of Squirrels' explores the nature of reciprocity between workers and pensioners.

You can read the Review in full here.


A Liberal Region in a World of Closed Borders? The Liberalization of Asylum Policies in Latin America, 1990–2020'

Omar Gallego, Fellow in Political Science and Public Policy, has written a new article on the liberalization of asylum policies in Latin America.

The article features in the International Migration Review journal, published by the Center for Migration Studies of New York.

Read it here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Analysing the National Insurance rise in the UK

Professor Tony Travers spoke to the Evening Standard about the UK Government's decision to raise National Insurance in order to fund social care.

He said, "It’s a very brutal choice and does not leave much scope for debate."

Read more here.


Breaking Bad Bond Buying

Professor Andrés Velasco questions the current policies of central banks in his latest commentary for Project Syndicate.

He writes, "While printing money to buy bonds and reduce long-term interest rates is justified during crises like those in 2008 or 2020, the case for maintaining quantitative easing in more tranquil times is far from obvious."

You can read the article in full here.


Applying economic complexity theory to the  EU’s pandemic recovery and resilience plans

Professor Ricardo Hausmann has co-written a blog post for the LSE European Politics and Policy Blog which focuses on the #NextGenEU fiscal recovery package.

Professor Hausmann and his co-authors write, "We argue that the deployment of EU funds and the frontloading of reforms in some key areas in the context of the RRF should find their natural place in the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) theory which should inform the implementation of national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) based on each EU member state’s sectorial and productive structure."

Read more here.

August 2021

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Preserving London's parks and green spaces

Speaking to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio LondonProfessor Tony Travers commented on plans to build housing on green spaces in south London.

He said, "We all know of the need for open space and the way people treasure it, but on the other hand there is a desperate need for housing."

Listen to more here.


Is HS2 on track?

Professor Tony Travers spoke to BBC Radio 4's 'The Briefing Room', discussing the ongoing debates surrounding the HS2 rail service.

He said, "I think it symbolises far more than just a fast train service. I think for the current Prime Minister, it's a major statement about the future of the country."

Listen to more from Professor Travers here.


The Root Less Followed

Congratulations to our recent MPA graduates Amory Gonzalez Juarez, David Bernstein, Pouria Arasti, Kavita Chathapuram Seshan and Dinar Adeline, who have had their Capstone Project Report  published by the United Nations Development Programme Accelerator Labs.

You can read the full Report here.

You can find a blog summarizing the team's findings here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Can London cope with the effects of climate change?

Recent flooding has caused widespread damage and disruption across London.

Professor Tony Travers discussed London’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change with The New York Times.

Read it here.


Preventing a Stablecoin Liquidity Crisis

Professor Andrés Velasco examines the use of privately-issued cryptocurrencies in his latest commentary for Project Syndicate.

Professor Velasco argues that, "There is no sound argument for applying lender-of-last-resort protection to privately issued cryptocurrencies. But regulators can prevent the all-too-predictable liquidity squeeze caused by a run on stablecoins – including by regulating them out of existence if necessary.

Read the article here.

July 2021

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How South Africa's post-apartheid economic dream turned sour

Dr Joachim Wehner spoke to The Telegraph about the recent wave of civil unrest which has spread across South Africa.

He said, "Zuma’s government really undid a lot of very good institution building that had taken place in the first decade and a half after the end of apartheid.”

Read more from Dr. Wehner here.

Stephen Jenkins

ECINEQ Presidential Speech

Professor Stephen Jenkins recently gave the Presidential Lecture for the Ninth Meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ).

The conference was held online from 8 to 10 July, and provided a forum for a rigorous analysis of inequality, welfare and redistribution issues, as well as for a discussion of the policy implications of the research findings in this field.

You can watch Professor Jenkins' Presidential Lecture here.


End of Year Celebrations

Last week, we hosted our End of Year Celebration on campus.

It was truly incredible to celebrate the wonderful academic achievements of our students, and to share a special afternoon together at the end of an academic year like no other.

Congratulations to all of our students for their excellent efforts this year.


The Perils of Paradigm Economics

Professor Andrés Velasco analyses the increasingly frequent use of oversimplified political and economic slogans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his latest commentary for Project Syndicate, Professor Velasco argues that, "As the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, simplistic political and economic ideologies that serve as identity markers will not lead to effective policymaking."

Read the article here.

June 2021

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Revising immigration policy in the post-COVID world

Professor Tony Travers spoke to the Evening Standard about UK immigration policies in the years following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, "Without (immigration) there will be labour shortages and the economy won’t grow as fast as it should do."

You can read the article here.

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EU-UK 2030: future relations between Europe and the United Kingdom

Dr. Sara Hagemann, Associate Dean for Extended Education, has has contributed to the recently published #EUUK 2030 Report from UK in a Changing Europe.

Dr Hagemann's work focuses on the future relationship between Denmark and the United Kingdom.

You can read the Report here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Future scenarios for Lambeth and Southwark post Covid-19

Professor Tony Travers has co-authored a report for LSE Cities, which focuses on post COVID-19 policy scenarios for the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.

You can view the report here.

Read a summary piece on the LSE COVID-19 Blog here.

Vanessa Rubio

Assessing Mexico's mid-term elections

In an op-ed piece for Americas Quarterly, Professor Vanessa Rubio-Márquez analyses the results of the 2021 Mexican legislative election, which took place on June 6.

She asks, "What will be the president’s aspirations for the rest of his mandate, which lasts until July 2024? Many had speculated that he might try to extend his mandate beyond the single six-year term provided in the constitution, but this possibility has been eliminated by the midterm results. So, what’s next?"

You can read Professor Rubio-Márquez's piece here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

Fears mount over cuts to rail services

Professor Tony Travers recently discussed the proposed service cuts to railways across the United Kingdom with the Telegraph

On the issue of rail providers, he said. "They will either need bailouts into the longer-term or face significant service reductions."

Read more from Professor Travers here.


Andrea Siodmok OBE

We are delighted to announce that SPP alumna Dr Andrea Siodmok (EMPP, 2018) has received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising her innovative work in Government and her contribution to public service.

Everybody at the School of Public Policy would like to offer our congratulations to Dr Siodmok for her excellent achievements.


Chile’s Constitutional Revolution

Professor Andrés Velasco examines the outcome of the recent Chilean Constitutional Convention election in his latest commentary for Project Syndicate.

He explains: "The results mark a clear shift to the left, but the international media’s preferred narrative – that this was an electoral revolt against Chile’s so-called neoliberal economic model – is too simplistic."

Read here.

May 2021


Assessing the outcome of the Chilean Constitutional Convention election

Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy, spoke to the Financial Times about the recent Constitutional Convetion election in Chile.

He explained that, "People with vague convictions didn’t go to the polls, while people with intense convictions did."

Read more from Professor Velasco here.


LSE Public Policy Review - Volume 1, Issue 4

The LSE Public Policy Review is an open-access, refereed journal which is published quarterly, focusing on key topics at the heart of current debates in public policy.

The latest issue, a special edition which focuses on COVID-19, is available to access here.


Twisted Democracies

In this Project Syndicate article, Professor Andrés Velasco explores the root causes of weak governance across Latin America.

He explains: "In many democracies, particularly in Latin America, well-meaning reforms intended to enhance democracy have achieved just the opposite, with governments that are strong on paper but weak in practice. And with each election cycle, citizen rage is brought ever-closer to the boiling point."

Read here.

April 2021

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Pandemic Leadership: Did “Scientists” Lock Down More Quickly?

Associate Professor Joachim Wehner has co-authored a paper with Prof. Mark Hallerberg of the Hertie School, Berlin, which analyses the educational background of 188 world leaders and explores any potential correlation between educational experience and the speed of lockdown implementation.

Read Professor Wehner's paper here.


Professor Daniel Sturm awarded ERC Advanced Grant

Congratulations to EMPA/EMPP Programme Director, Professor Daniel Sturm, who has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant for the project 'Quantitative Models of Cities'.

Read more about Professor Sturm's project here.

Vanessa Rubio

Today's Latin America Has No Female Presidents. It's Not Going Well.

Professor in Practice Vanessa Rubio-Márquez's op-ed in Americas Quarterly states that "As Latin America wrestles with the pandemic and its worst economic crisis in more than a century, political leadership rests in the hands of male leaders in every single one of its 20 countries. Just as troubling, Latin America has not elected a single woman president in the last seven years."

She reflects that "It is time to support women politicians in their quest to reach the highest political offices, removing barriers and interrupting the unacceptable status quo. It is time to allow women to fulfill their destinies and lead."

Read here.

March 2021


Brazilian Debt Jitters

In this Project Syndicate article, Professor Andrés Velasco and Policy Fellow Frank Muci examine Brazil's fiscal response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They explain that: "Brazil illustrates the point that despite low interest rates worldwide, there are limits to debt and deficits in the post-pandemic world. Brazil’s tax burden, at over one-third of GDP, is already high for an emerging economy, so taxation alone is unlikely to quash the rising fiscal risks."

Read here.

Portrait photo of Professor Tony Travers

London mayoral debate 2021

Speaking to the Evening StandardProfessor Tony Travers gave his opinion on the first televised debate of the 2021 London mayoral election.

"My overwhelming sense was that it was very scratchy, ill-tempered, certainly not a joyful experience to watch."

Read here.

February 2021

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Evolution, Not Revolution, in Economics

On this Project Syndicate piece, Professor Andrés Velasco argues that the real change shaping policy decisions in recent years has been political, not intellectual.

He comments that a growing acceptance of agressive fiscal policy is supposed to be the first principle of a new, post-revolutionary regime in macroeconomics. But the only genuine conceptual change in the decade since the global financial crisis has come from efforts to explain when and why "unconventional" monetary policy works.

Read here.

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Blackout Politics: AMLO's energy plan will backfire

Vanessa Rubio-Márquez published an op-ed in Americas Quarterly in which she comments on why President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's push to expand state control over energy markets [in Mexico] is misguided and harmful.

Read here.


CIVICA public lecture: Democracy in the time of pandemic

The European University of Social Sciences launched the Public Lecture Series Tours d'Europe with an event hosted online by CIVICA member Central European University featuring LSE Professor Andrés Velasco, who spoke at the event.

In the CIVICA Public Lecture Series Tours d'Europe, researchers from CIVICA member universities present their recent findings and interrogations on timely topics to the general public. The series aims to strengthen citizens' knowledge base and to facilitate a direct dialogue between social science researchers and the wider society. 

Watch the recording here.

January 2021

Luksic Scholars

Welcoming the first generation of Luksic Scholars to LSE School of Public Policy

The first cohort of outstanding young policymakers from Chile have started their studies at LSE School of Public Policy, thanks to a new Scholarship Fund supported by the Luksic family.

Read here.


December 2020

Vanessa Rubio

Vanessa Rubio-Márquez to join LSE’s School of Public Policy as a Professor in Practice

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Vanessa Rubio-Márquez as Professor in Practice for the School of Public Policy (SPP) from January 2021. 

Vanessa will take up a pivotal role: as a Professor in Practice she will work with students to link the theoretical and conceptual knowledge of policy-making based on her extensive professional experience. 

Read here.

Issue 2 Supportive State

LSE Public Policy Review

The LSE Public Policy Review is a new journal published by the LSE Press and launched in Summer 2020. The LSEPPR publishes thematic issues that address current key public policy topics from different disciplinary perspectives with the aim of sharing high-quality LSE research with a wider audience. Issue 2: The Supportive State discusses universal basic income, services and social security. 

Read the latest issue here.

Chile’s Great Pension Raid

Chile's Great Pension Raid

Writing for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco comments that because the policies they produce are so ludicrous, populist cycles eventually crash against reality and come to an end. Sadly, for too many Chileans, the crash may come when they reach old age with no retirement savings.

Read here.

November 2020

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The COVID Reset Latin America Needs

Writing for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco comments that the COVID-19 pandemic has done more than ravage Latin America’s economies; it has highlighted two pervasive and chronic structural weaknesses. He argues that addressing them must be a key component of recovery efforts throughout the region.

Read here.


September 2020

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Marlon Tábora Muñoz appointed to the Inter-American Development Bank

We are pleased to share the news that SPP alumnus Marlon Tábora Muñoz (2019, EMPA) has been appointed as Executive Advisor of the Office of the President and Vice President of Finance and Administration at the Inter-American Development Bank. Congratulations, Marlon; we wish you all the best in your new role.

Find out more.


COVID-19 futures

Professor Erik Berglof has joined senior academics in a Wellcome Trust study which explores medium- and long-term impacts of COVID-19.

The authors describe a framework to "explore four possible biological ‘futures’of the COVID-19 pandemic over the next five years, examining how each could combine with different social, political and geographical contexts."

They hope to provoke others to thing of the long-term, "that moves us towards the global actions needed to reach equitable future outcomes,and to better prepare for future pandemics."

Find out more.


Will British theatre survive coronavirus?

Speaking to the Financial TimesProfessor Tony Travers says London's West End has never faced a threat like that brought on by the coronavirus.

If audiences do not return, 'it “is inconceivable that British theatre could survive at anything like its current scale”'.

Read here.


Infrastructure struggles in the UK

The New York Times has spoken to Professor Tony Travers for an article on the problems surrounding London's bridges, three of which are "falling down".

“The national government is afraid of spending money in London because it would threaten its ‘leveling up’ agenda. Promising to build shiny things for the future is more attractive than fixing road surfaces or mending bridges.” says Prof Travers.

Read here.


Challenges to UK public transport

Professor Tony Travers has spoken to My London for an article on the future of the London Underground.

Prof Travers considers the future of economic activity, commuting and what this means for Transport for London.

"The pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime change affecting public transport in Britain. It's very hard to know where it will go next."

Read here.


The UK economy: Brexit vs COVID-19

Research by Dr Thomas Sampson for the UK in a Changing Europe has been referenced in an article by The Guardian.

Dr Sampson's modelling finds "the impact of a no-deal Brexit suggests that the total cost to the UK economy over the longer term will be two to three times as large as that implied by the Bank of England’s forecast for the impact of Covid-19".

Read here.

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A no-deal Brexit may still be more costly than COVID-19

Writing for LSE Brexit blog, Dr Thomas Sampson speaks against the argument that, as the impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy dwarfs the potential consequences of Brexit, there is nothing to fear about a no-deal Brexit.

Instead, data shows that a no-deal Brexit may not be less costly than the longterm economic fallout from COVID-19.

Read here.


Erik Berglof appointed first Chief Economist for AIIB

It has been announced that Professor Erik Berglof is now the inaugural Chief Economist of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a development bank.

In this role, Professor Berglof will "set the vision and strategy for the [Economics] Department and lead the planning, implementation and supervision of its work plan in support of the Bank’s mandate to foster sustainable economic development by investing in an inclusive and sustainable Asia".

On receiving the appointment, Professor Berglof said: "I look forward to applying my years of experience to support AIIB’s firm commitment to financial, economic, environmental and social sustainability and a multilateral approach to development finance."

Find out more.


August 2020

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Are We All Keynesians Again?

Writing for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco comments that a universally acknowledged outcome from COVID-19 response discussions is that the pandemic has ushered in an era of more state intervention in the economy.

However, he asks: "But what does this mean for the future? In what areas of economic life should and can the state do more?"

Read here.


The UK economy: Brexit vs Covid-19

 Dr Thomas Sampson has written for The UK in a Changing Europe on the affects of both Brexit and COVID-19 on the UK economy.

He argues the claim that COVID-19 is a bigger economic shock than Brexit must be interrogated.

Read here.


Letter to G20, IMF, World Bank, regional development banks and national governments

A new letter from over 275 world leaders calls on the G20, the IMF, the World Bank and regional development banks and all countries to recognise the scale of the COVID-19 crisis.

The letter, signed by Professor Andres Velasco and Professor Erik Berglof, focuses on educational losses due to the pandemic - "there is now a real and present danger that the public health crisis will create a COVID generation who lose out on schooling and whose opportunities are permanently damaged."

 It proposes three initiatives to get the most disadvantaged and vulnerable back into education and enable them to catch up.

Read it here.

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Is the government playing a power grab for the London Mayor's office?

Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed by The Guardian for an article about the alleged power grab by the government of the Mayor's office.

Prof Travers says "It’s an unpredictable curiosity that the current administration in Downing Street happen to be the predecessors of the formal operation at City Hall. People who formerly did something always think the people who came after them aren’t doing it as well as they did. It’s a natural human response."

Read here.

Oriana Bandiera

What makes an ideal CEO?

Research by Professor Oriana Bandiera et al, exploring how most successful CEOs spend their day, has been discussed in this Forbes article by co-author Dr Stephen Hansen.

The research sought to fill a gap in the literature, with "much work focusing on what makes a prospective CEO a good fit for the role, with little thought being given to the type of organisation they would be leading."

Read here.

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Designing social protection programs that work

An article by BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative cites an IGC brief by Professor Oriana Bandiera and Nidhi Parekh.

In the brief, the authors acknowledge that prior to the pandemic those most in need were already being left behind by traditional development programming. They explore the opportunities and challenges faced in reaching the most marginalized populations and how we can overcome them.

Find out more.

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UK government's plan for district councils

Professor Tony Travers comments on proposed local government reorganisations for The Guardian, asserting that all such reorganisations favour the party in power.

Read here.

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The economic cost of UK school closures

Writing for VoxEU, Dr Ethan Ilzetzki discusses a recent Centre for Macroeconomics survey which predicts the cost of UK school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In part, the survey suggests school closures will increase inequality and harm gender equality.

Read the column here.


Tax rates and migration

Research by Professor Camille Landais and colleagues has been referenced in a Tax Foundation article.

The paper 'Taxation and Migration: Evidence and Policy Implications' reviews whether and to what extent tax changes in a country influence an individual’s decision to migrate.

Find out more here.

Thomas Sampson

Thomas Sampson featured in Academic Spotlight series

Dr Thomas Sampson is featured in the UK in a Changing Europe’s third 'Academic in the Spotlight' series, which has been created to highlight the important work being done by social scientists and why more people should be aware of it.

The theme of Dr Sampson's Spotlight is 'International trade and Brexit'. Find out more here.

July 2020


The financial strain facing Transport for London

Speaking to The Economist for an article on TfL's strained financial situation, Professor Tony Travers suggests the delayed London mayorial election due to COVID-19 may be why TfL has been treated more harshly than the railway companies.

Prof Travers says: "The rail industry got a quiet £3.5bn bail-out with little fanfare. Meanwhile TfL got less than half as much cash, had to drop concessionary fares, raise the congestion charge, take two new government-appointed directors and accept a financial review. There’s some politics here."

Read more here.


Launch of the LSE Public Policy Review

The first issue of the new Public Policy Review was launched on Thursday 23 July with an event on 'Populism in the Post-COVID-19 World', to mark the theme of the first journal issue: Populism.

SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco joins the Editorial Board, alongside Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor Simon Hix and Professor Nicola Lacey.

The Public Policy Review is a quarterley journal which seeks to actively contribute to the study and developement of public and social policy, public administration and public management.

Each issue is thematic and concentrates on a key topic at the heart of current debates in public policy.

Professor Velasco is featured in Issue 1 with his article 'Populism and Identity Politics', available here.

little book

Launch of the International Growth Centre's Little Book of Growth Ideas

The IGC has launched the 'Little Book of Growth Ideas', containing some of their most transformational research from the last decade.

The book features work from SPP faculty Professor Oriana Bandiera, Professor Robin Burgess, Dr Nava Ashraf, and Professor Adnan Khan.

Visit here to find out more about the book.

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Lords Select Committee: impact of COVID-19 and experiences outside England

Professor Tony Travers will be one of six witnesses in a Lords Select Committee meeting on COVID-19 and the impact on the economy and the devolved regions. This meeting, held on Wednesday 15 July, will be led by the The Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Find out more.


Could Robotization make the gender pay gap worse?

Using data from 20 European countries, Dr Berkay Ozcan, Dr Cevat Giray Aksoy (King's College London) and Julia Philipp (LSE PhD candidate) have provided the first large-scale evidence on the impact of industrial robots on the gender pay gap.

They find that robot adoption increases both male and female earnings but also increases the gender pay gap.

Find out more here.

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The Call of the Tribal

In his latest piece for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco argues two long-held premises of democratic politics - politicians and voters acting in accordance with their principles, interests, or both - are useless for explaining today's politics.

He says: "The fact is that many voters nowadays don’t mind when a politician says one thing and then does another, provided it is their politician – someone with whom they identify as a member of the same tribe."

Read here.


Chile’s finance minister navigates coronavirus, recession and protests

Professor Andrés Velasco comments on the performance of Chile's Finance Minister, Ignacio Briones, in a Financial Times article.

He says: “Briones has been a bit of a fresh face, which is a good thing. He doesn’t give himself airs . . . and he comes across as a nicer guy than your average politician.”

Read the article here.

June 2020


What is the cost of coronavirus for the UK's railways?

Speaking to the Financial Times on government bailouts to the UK's train companies, Professor Tony Travers estimates that "the rail subsidies will end up costing £5bn-£6bn of taxpayer money".

He further states there "will be further questions about how much more support the industry needs if passenger volumes do not return to normal."

Read the article here.


School of Public Policy achieves Silver Green Impact award

This year's LSE-wide Celebration of Sustainability took place on Tuesday 9 June, featuring updates on the School's Sustainability Strategic Plan and the presentation of NUS Green Impact awards.

The School of Public Policy successfully achieved Silver this year, marking us as a 'Committed Contributer'. The SPP's team produced materials on sustainability for colleagues, and created weekly "Eco-Facts" for the student newsletters.

Green Impact is a United Nations award-winning programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice organisations.


Latin America’s taxing problem

A recent Financial Times article explores how the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to changes in tax traditions in at least eight Latin American countries, as a means to create revenue to respond to the crisis.

In the discussion of wealth tax, Professor Andrés Velasco says it is “true that in many Latin American countries the rich have ways of escaping taxation”. However, “If you look around Latin America, there is very little property taxation. And if the state cannot tax you on the value of your home, how likely is it that it can tax you on the paintings inside the house?”

Read here.


The link between populism and identity

Professor Andrés Velasco discusses populism and identity politics in the June edition of the IMF's Finance & Development magazine.

He says: "A key role of politics is to manage grievances, economic or otherwise. The turn toward populism and authoritarianism suggests a failure of democratic politics to handle those grievances effectively. There is a one-word reason for that: identity."

Read here.

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Tony Travers joins London Recovery Board

Professor Tony Travers has joined 27 leaders - from politics, business, the voluntary sector, trade unions and various public bodies - on the London Recovery Board, which will aim to help shape the London's post-Covid future.

The group, which is co-chaired by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the chair of London Councils, Peter John, met for the first time on June 4.

Prof Travers said “The Recovery Board’s first meeting was valuable for hearing the range of concerns and interests of its members and we will now need to move on to setting some priorities and deciding on how best to put them into effect.”

Read about the Board here.

uganda farming

Research shows social structures affect develoment policy implementation by local agents

Professor Oriana Bandiera and Professor Robin Burgess have co-authored a research paper which uses an agricultural extension program in rural Ugandan villages to study how social structures explain the variation in delivery rates and program effectiveness seen in development data.

Read the paper here.

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Macroeconomic Policy Responses to a Pandemic

COVID-19 has caused a huge productivity shock; to alleviate the impact of that shock, many countries have enacted policies to avoid job losses.

Using their recently published Minimalist Model, Professor Andrés Velasco, Professor Roberto Chang and Professor Luis Felipe Céspedes (Universidad de Chile) have studied such policies, drawing conclusions on what the most effective responses may be.

Read the research here.

Thomas Sampson

Has EU trade become less important to the UK since the 2016 referendum?

In a trade analysis for LSE Brexit blog, Dr Thomas Sampson argues that Brexit has not reduced the EU’s importance in UK trade since the referendum. Instead, "For the optimists, there is evidence that UK-EU trade has proven resilient so far. For the pessimists, it shows that the full economic costs of Brexit are yet to materialise."

Read here.

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How to prevent an economic meltdown as a result of COVID-19

In his latest article for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco explores the deep recessions emerging markets will soon experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this may be prevented.

Commenting on the international community's move towards debt forbearance, Professor Velasco asserts it is "insufficient to prevent a developing-world depression, and could even misfire". Instead, emerging markets need new funding.

Read the article here.


What does COVID-19 mean for Latin America's economy?

In a Financial Times article series in which leading economists evaluate what to expect and what might be done to avert turmoil like the 1930s Great Depression, Professor Andrés Velasco analyses the situation in Latin America.

In his article 'It could be the 1930s all over again for Latin America', Professor Velasco argues the same shocks are hitting the region as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the addition of a decline in remittances and a productivity freeze.

Read here.


A call for action: what the G20 should do now

Professor Erik Berglöf (Director, Institute of Global Affairs, LSE) and Professor Andrés Velasco (Dean, School of Public Policy) have joined former Heads of State, politicians, health experts and economists - including former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown - in signing the latest letter to G20 governments.

The letter is a continued call for action for governments in the G20 to coordinate a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors of the accompanying article state "Because the group represents 85% of global GDP, it has the capacity to mobilize resources on the scale required – and its leaders must do so immediately."

It lays out required actions under global health and the economy, as well as reiterating how the leaders can create a coordinated response to COVID-19.

Read the full letter here.

May 2020

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Tony Travers discusses divergent attitudes towards lifting lockdown in UK

Speaking for a New York Times article, Professor Tony Travers says the different situation in the North of England versus the South poses difficult questions for the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Members of the public are starting to think, ‘Why am I still locked down when I’m living in a city where the chances of catching Covid-19 are lower than being run over by a car in the street?’”

Read the full piece here.

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Thomas Sampson comments on post-Covid trade in a no-deal Brexit scenario

In an interview for The Independent, Dr Thomas Sampson, Associate Professor, says "Will firms with European supply chains that were disrupted by Covid want to invest in restarting those suppy chains with a potential no deal round the corner?"

Read the full article here.

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Tony Travers comments on post-lockdown London life

In a statement for the Evening Standard, Professor Tony Travers says “Covid-19 will have a profound effect on our streets.”

He calls for local authorities to allow restaurants and bars to create a pavement café culture this summer, serving more customers out in the street while socially distancing.

Read the news article here.

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Roberto Chang and Andrés Velasco co-author research for CEPR

Professor Roberto Chang, Professor Andrés Velasco and Professor Luis Felipe Céspedes (Universidad de Chile) have released a research paper entitled 'The Macroeconomics of a Pandemic: A Minimalist Model'.

Find out more.


Andrés Velasco will speak on the panel of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella online event (Spanish)

On Thursday 21 May, Professor Andrés Velasco, will join Dr Eduardo Levy Yeyati (Dean, Escuela de Gobierno) and Dr Catalina Smulovitz (Plenary Research Professor, UTDT) in a discussion on liberal democracy and public policy post-pandemic.

Find out more.

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Tony Travers speaks on impact of UK's centralised system on crisis response

In an interview for The Guardian, Professor Tony Travers says the UK's highly centralised system of government does not respond well to crises and challenges that require flexible local responses. He suggests smaller countries and federally structured nations, like Germany, have been better suited to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the article here.


Tim Besley and Andrés Velasco write on the balance between science and politics

Writing for the new LSE COVID-19 blog, Professor Tim Besley and Professor Andrés Velasco assert:

'Politics uninformed by science quickly becomes quackery. But science unmediated by politics is of limited use when it comes to solving a collective action problem such as a pandemic.'

Read 'Politicians can’t hide behind scientists forever – even in a pandemic' here.

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Thomas Sampson speaks on UK-US trade negotiations amid COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Thomas Sampson, Associate Professor, was interviewed by news platform on the UK launching trade negotiations with US via videoconference.

He argues it is "a mistake" for Britain to start negotiating with the United States at this stage:

'"Potential gains from U.S. deal are much smaller than costs of leaving the EU," he said, citing the government's own analysis suggesting an ambitious U.S. deal would raise Britain's GDP by around 0.2 percent.'

Read the article here.


Tony Travers on post-lockdown commuting

Professor Tony Travers was interviewed for a BBC article on the changes to commuting after the COVID-19 lockdown.

He says: "Public transport operators have spent decades trying to get users to spread the rush hour. It would be hard to do this voluntarily. You would have to have some degree of people, in effect, being allocated slots."

Read the news article here.

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Roberto Chang and Andrés Velasco write on economic policy incentives to fight COVID-19

Writing for VOX CEPR Policy Portal, Professor Roberto Chang and Professor Andrés Velasco argue 'what regular people decide to do could be at least as important as what governments do in determining how, when, and at what cost we overcome the pandemic'.

Read 'Economic policy incentives in the fight against pandemics'.

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Andrés Velasco on the fate of populist leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic

In a new article for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco argues that though populist leaders on the right and left have topped the 'ranks of incompetence' during the COVID-19 pandemic so far, this does not mean they will become political victims of the virus.

'The virus is lethal and ruthless, but alone it will not flatten the populist contagion curve.'

Read the article here.

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Tony Travers writes on the challenges of persuading 'fearful Britons' to leave their houses once again

Writing for the School of Public Policy's new LSE COVID-19 blog, Professor Tony Travers asserts that the UK government's encouragement of self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic has become internalised by the populace; encouraging them to return to normal may be difficult. Yet: 'the cost to the economy is huge and Johnson faces extraordinary financial pressure.'

Read here.

April 2020

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LSE COVID-19 blog launched

We are proud to announce the launch of the new LSE COVID-19 blog, which publishes expert and accessible research about the coronavirus pandemic. Our focus is on the global policy response to the crisis.

The blog is part of the LSE’s School of Public Policy and is led by the Dean, Andrés Velasco and Associate Dean, Tony Travers. The acting editors are Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz.

In an inaugural post, Dame Minouche Shafik, LSE Director, writes on the necessity of international cooperation to solve the global pandemic. Read the full piece here.

Visit LSE COVID-19 here.


Tony Travers on UK politics and Covid-19

Professor Tony Travers, Associate Dean, was interviewed on how the coronavirus is impacting UK politics and how the country is governed.

Watch the video here.


Erik Berglöf speaks on EBRD/LSE panel on Coronavirus and global economy

Last Friday, Professor Erik Berglöf (Director, LSE Institute of Global Affairs; formerly EBRD), joined European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Chief Economist Professor Beata Javorcik, LSE's Lord Nicholas Stern, and SciencePo's Professor Sergei Guriev (formerly EBRD) in a discussion entitled 'Coronavirus and the global economy: what next?'

Professor Berglöf noted the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened the role of the state worldwide, though warned 'I think there is going to be dramatic realisation of the inability of governments in many of these countries to deliver in many ways and I worry that this is going to lead to massive populist reactions and weaken what democracies.'

To listen to the audio recording of this panel discussion, visit here.

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Tony Travers quoted in NY Times article on coronavirus and popular support for governments

In a New York Times article exploring a widespread rise in popular support for governments as the Covid-19 crisis spreads, Professor Tony Travers states:

“Winning a war is absolutely no recipe for staying in office,” Mr. Travers said. “When the threat of illness goes away, then the consequences of being protected from the threat are very different.”

Read the full piece here.

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Latin American politicians and economists sign letter on Covid-19

A number of prominent Latin American politicians and experts, including SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco, have signed a new letter entitled 'Ethical and economic imperatives in confronting Covid-19: A view from Latin America'.

The letter comments on the uneven response to the Covid-19 pandemic by Heads of States in Latin America and the Caribbean, and calls for focus 'on upgrading our health systems, channeling resources to hospitals, temporarily adapting idle infrastructure such as hotels and convention centers, and drastically increasing testing capacity.'

It also addresses the potential economic impact of the pandemic, setting out policies that are required to protect economies and individuals across the region.

Read the full letter here.

Read news coverage by CNN, El País and El Tiempo.


Erik Berglöf, Gordon Brown, Jeremy Farrar and Andrés Velasco sign letter to G20 Governments

Professor Erik Berglöf (Director, Institute of Global Affairs, LSE), Gordon Brown (UK Prime Minister 2007-2010), Sir Jeremy Farrar (Director, Wellcome Trust) and Professor Andrés Velasco (Dean, School of Public Policy) have written a letter to G20 Governments, calling for coordinated global leadership to resolve the current and deepening global health and economic emergencies caused by COVID-19.

Following the communique from the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Summit last week, the authors state "We now require urgent specific measures that can be agreed on with speed and at scale: emergency support for global health initiatives led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and emergency measures to restore the global economy."

"World leaders must immediately agree to commit $8 billion – as set out by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board – to fill the most urgent gaps in the COVID-19 response."

The letter is signed by numerous politicians, economists and health experts.

Read the full piece here.


The School of Public Policy launches Covid-19 Social Science response portal

In addition to representing a medical emergency and scientific race, the Covid-19 pandemic poses an enormous challenge for the social sciences to help governments and non-governmental organisations respond to the economic and societal consequences of the unprecedented disease.

In response, the School of Public Policy has created a new webpage, bringing together some of the leading thinking to guide and support policy responses to Covid-19. Our content draws across the full range of social sciences, among them economics, finance, sociology, government, health policy, social policy, psychology and behavioural science.

Visit our webpage here.


March 2020


20 leading economists and global health experts send letter to G20 on Covid-19 pandemic

Ahead of the upcoming G20 summit, a team of world-leading economists and global health experts from around the world have written a letter to the G20 leaders on the Covid-19 pandemic response, with one simple message: 'this crisis is global and requires unprecedented cooperation across countries and disciplines.'

The letter begins:

'Advanced countries have started now to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is worse to come for most countries. But delaying emergency measures in emerging and developing economies will lead to unimaginable health and social impacts which will come back to haunt us for decades. The G20 must act now.'

The signatories urge the G20 to aid and assist emerging and developing countries, who face 'an unprecedented collective threat to human life, social cohesion and economic devastation'.

They assert that governments of advanced economies have an 'obligation and a self-interest in shielding vulnerable countries'.

The letter comes as the leaders of the world's largest economies hold a virtual summit to discuss a collaborative response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken the lives of over 24,000 people to date.*

Read the full piece here.

* Source.

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Andrés Velasco and Roberto Chang write on Latin American Covid-19 response for Project Syndicate

Professor Andrés Velasco and Professor Roberto Chang argue 'The [Latin American] region has never faced a crisis like this one, and policymakers must use this time wisely, which means acting swiftly and boldly.' Read full article here.

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The SPP hosts the 2020 Global Public Policy Network Conference

This weekend, the LSE School of Public Policy was host to the 2020 Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) annual Conference, with students and staff visiting from Tokyo, New York, São Paulo and Singapore to participate in the competition.

Twenty groups of students presented their innovative public policy project ideas to an audience of School Deans and over 100 students, on a wide array of policy issue-areas.

Read more

After successfully moving on to round two, seven teams presented their work in further depth and faced questions from the audience.

After much deliberation, Deans from all participating Schools decided upon the following winners:

First Place: Diciottinobond (18 Bond) - LSE School of Public Policy

Runner Up Group 1: uBELONG: A Digital Identity for the Homeless - Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo

Runner Up Group 2: Reconnections: Breaking the Drug Addiction Vicious Cycle of Marginalisation - Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas

Best Presentation: UELCOME - LSE School of Public Policy

Best Analysis: Development with Equitable Acquisition of Land (DEAL) Policy - Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo

The day-long Conference ended with a drinks reception and a performance from the SPP's own band, the Veto Players.

Congratulations and thank you to all teams who joined us in London! To view photos from the Conference, visit our Flickr.


Andrés Velasco speaks at the University of Cambridge

Last Thursday, Professor Andrés Velasco gave a speech at Peterhouse Politics Society, University of Cambridge, on the topic "Where next for Latin American politics?".

Prof Velasco was invited to speak on this topic due to his professional experience in Chilean politics, as well as his extensive writing on Latin American affairs.

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Andrés Velasco writes on reforming democracy

In his latest article for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy, argues it is no wonder that many say they are dissatisfied with democracy, given how it operates today. 'To Protect Democracy, Reform It'.


Tony Travers interviewed for article on blocked Heathrow expansion

Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed for a recent article in the The New Zealand Herald, 'Heathrow airport expansion blocked over climate concerns'.

He says "Brexit means trade with countries further away than you can get on a train″, so it makes little sense to ignore the Heathrow project.

February 2020

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Tony Travers quoted in Guardian article on London congestion and pollution

Associate Dean Professor Tony Travers has been interviewed for a recent article in The Guardian 'How London got rid of private cars – and grew more congested than ever'

He says: “London has achieved the impossible by eradicating the private car – and still having desperate traffic congestion... People keep saying we need to get the cars off the road. In central London, there aren’t any.”

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Andrés Velasco in defence of Cosmopolitanism

In his latest article for Project Syndicate 'In Defense of Cosmopolitanism', our Dean Professor Andrés Velasco argues Cosmopolitanism is about 'defining ourselves precisely by what makes us equal – our common humanity'. It is Cosmopolitanism that can be used as a counter-attack to rising nationalism seen across the globe. Read in full here.

January 2020

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Welcoming new BP Centennial Professor

The School of Public Policy is thrilled to welcome Professor Roberto Chang of Rutgers University, who joins us as BP Centennial Professor.

Professor Chang will be part of the SPP until the end of the academic year. During his tenure he will advance his research on foreign exchange intervention, international reserves accumulation and management, and other so-called unconventional central bank policies, for emerging economies. 

Previously, Professor Chang has published extensively on monetary economics, exchange rate policy, and financial crises. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Economics and the Journal of Development Economics, and as a member of the Economics Panel of the National Science Foundation.

Before joining Rutgers University in 2000, Professor Chang was a Research Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He has also been an Assistant Professor at NYU and a Visiting Professor at Princeton.



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26 December 2019

Andrés Velasco co-authors piece on recent global waves of unrest

In his latest co-authored piece for Project Syndicate, Professor Andrés Velasco, SPP Dean, poses the question 'Was Marx Right?'

The article reflects on the assertion that “2019 was a year of global unrest, spurred by anger at rising inequality – and 2020 is likely to be worse”. It argues "many of these countries have long been unequal. And economic conditions are nowhere as dire as they were a decade ago, during the global financial crisis. So why are people taking to the streets now?"

To answer their question, the authors turn to Marx and Engels.

Read the article here.


16 December 2019

New cohort of Executive students joins the SPP

Last Friday we were thrilled to welcome our new Executive students on the EMPA and EMPP programmes.

The induction day started with introductory presentations from Academic Director Professor Sara Hagemann, and Executive programme leads Professor Daniel Sturm, Heather Gorrie and Andrew Brennen. SPP Dean Andrés Velasco then warmly welcomed the new cohort to the School.

A lunch spread offered a perfect time for our new students to meet their peers.

After a number of seminars, the day ended aptly with the SPP end of term (or, start of term) drinks, where our students continued connecting with their fellow students and SPP staff.

We hope our new students all enjoyed meeting their new peers, Department & University, and look forward to the year ahead!


13 December 2019

SPP live at the LSE Election Night Party

Last night the School of Public Policy was on the scene of the LSE Election Night Party, reporting on political reactions and developments as the exit poll was published.

We listened to analysis from leading experts in the political field, which involved the implications of the General Election on British Politics, Law and the Constitution, Europe and Vrexit, Economy and Welfare and Foreign and Trade Policy.

Click for more details

The night wholly kicked off with the release of the exit poll at 22:00 GMT, where a full Sheikh Zayed Theatre reacted with a mix of joy and misery at the predictions.

Following this, a continuous stream of expert panellists discussed a whole range of implications for the UK and its relations with the world going forward, as well as commenting on issue areas the election campaign neglected.

We caught up with individuals throughout the night.

MPP student Henry argued argues there are two ways of interpreting the outcome of the exit poll. First, as an endorsement of Brexit. Second, as a rejection of Jeremy Corbyn's policies (adding that it will be hard to disentangle the link between Corbyn & Labour's policies).

Henry also suggested the outcome gives PM Boris Johnson a clean mandate to reject everything the Labour Party ran on the basis of, and to pursue whatever he wants on Brexit. To him, both of these mean bad news for people who stand behind a progressive agenda.


MPP students

SPP Academic Director Prof Sara Hagemann argued the election result might not be unwelcome in Europe. It has significant consequences for the Brexit we have because the EU now know what government they're dealing with.


Professor Sara Hagemann

Prof Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics at the LSE European Institute, responded to the question: "Does lying on the campaign trail matter?"

He answered: The exit poll results prove we need to regulate social media. If democracy is to continue being viable, people need to be able to believe what they're told.


Professor Nicholas Barr
Dean of the SPP Prof Andrés Velasco responded to the question: "If you were to add one issue to the election discussion that was missed, what would it be?"


He responded: Given the amount of technological change, and change in the world economy, any future growth in the UK will require a "reskilling" to an extent that no candidate or party was talking about. This is important for reasons of growth, employment and social equity. It is shocking how absent this was in this election.


Professor Andrés Velasco

Panel 5 of the night was titled "Economy and Welfare". Prof Velasco argued, using his experience with trade agreements in Chile, the perceived idea of jumping out of the EU and quickly into a set of trade agreements with the rest of the world is unlikely.


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Panel 5, with Professor Andres Velasco, Professor Stephen Machin, Vicky Pryce and Professor Nicholas Barr.

Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Advisor at CEBR, further made the point that there has been a move away from evidence; evidence-based policy has been thrown out of the window.


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Concluding remarks by Professor Tony Travers

Final remarks were given by Professor Tony Travers, who concluded the First Past the Post voting system, and the UK's two-party system, is here to stay.

If you are interested in revisiting moments from the election night, visit our Twitter (@LSEPublicPolicy).

9 December 2019

The School of Public Policy welcomes new Visiting Professor

The LSE School of Public Policy is delighted to announce that Mr Antonio Roldán is joining as a Visiting Professor in Practice.

Mr Roldán is Director of the Center for Economic Policy and Political Economy at Esade Business School. He is a MPA graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and holds an MPhil from LSE in European Political Economy. Until July 2019, he was a member of the Spanish national congress and during that time served as Economics Spokesperson and Head of Policy for the Spanish Ciudadanos political party.

Mr Roldán’s research at LSE will be in collaboration with Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy, to write a joint book that compares and contrasts liberalism in Latin America and Europe. The idea of the book is to build a global agenda for a renewed progressive liberalism, which includes an actualisation of the theoretical foundations, innovative policies and the best experience to defend liberal democracy. Previously, Prof Velasco completed, in 2019, a book entitled ‘Liberalismo in tiempos de Cólera’ [Liberalism in a time of Cholera], while Mr Roldán has also published extensively on the dilemmas and challenges to Liberalism as a political force in Spain. 

In accepting his Visiting Professorship in Practice, Mr Roldán commented “I am delighted to be joining the LSE School of Public Policy as it continues its rapid development since being founded in 2018. As my own alma mater, I relish the chance to return to LSE and the campus I know so well. I am particularly looking forward to working with Prof Velasco and other LSE colleagues on interests that we all find so fascinating, and so crucially important to the current politics.”


29 November 2019

Andrés Velasco publishes article on Bipolar Economics

SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco has published his latest article with Project Syndicate, titled "Bipolar Economics". In it, he explores the effectiveness of randomised controlled trials for better economic policies.

Read here.


22 November 2019

Nine SPP staff members awarded LSE Excellence in Education Awards

Congratulations to all SPP staff members who were awarded 2018/19 Excellence in Education Awards at yesterday evening's awards ceremony.

These awards are made, on the recommendations of Heads of Department, to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.

The following winners teach at the SPP: Simon Bastow, Gharad Bryan, Tasha Fairfield, Lloyd Gruber, William Matcham, Niclas Moneke, Berkay Ozcan, Jonathan Roberts and Daniel Sturm.


8 November 2019

Alumnus Hugh Cole gives seminar on Cape Town water crisis

Yesterday we welcomed back SPP alumnus Hugh Cole, Director of Policy and Strategy at the City of Cape Town, for the first SPP Policy in Practice Seminar of the term.

Mr Cole delivered an insightful seminar to our students on the 2017 Cape Town water crisis, how the city government responded and the role of data in building a future resilience.

SPP Policy in Practice Seminars, organised by Prof. Adnan Khan, are aimed at engaging with professionals, policy actors and practitioners involved in public policy in various capacities in order to bring together practice and academia and to deepen the learning experience of SPP students.


7 November 2019

Margaret Trudeau gives talk to SPP students on the topic of mental health

The SPP was honoured to welcome Margaret Trudeau, author, mental health advocate and former Canadian First Lady, to LSE for the second SPP Women's Network event of the term.

Read more

Ms Trudeau shared a personal, moving and inspiring recollection of her long journey with Bipolar disorder, with the goal of inspiring others and erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The evening began on a heartening note, with Margaret emphasising the importance of kindness to live in a mentally happy world, and ended with a joke to instill the importance of laughter for mental wellbeing.

Throughout, she offered powerful words of advice on how to maintain a healthy mind, reminding the audience of the importance of nurturing the body, mind and spirit through actions such as getting enough sleep, giving the body the nutrition it needs, and taking time to recharge.


6 November 2019

Professor Tony Travers quoted on impact of General Election on HS2 review

Professor Travers, panellist on the Oakervee Review of the HS2 project, comments that the pre-election purdah period - where the government faces restrictions in its communication with the public - means the HS2 review is unlikely to be published before the election. 

Read full article here.

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4 November 2019

MPP student attends prestigious British Council programme

Congratulations to Toluwalola Kasali, currently studying for a Master in Public Policy, who won the opportunity to attend the prestigious British Council 2019 Future Leaders Connect programme.

Toluwalola was selected as one of five representatives of Nigeria, presenting her policy ideas on internally displaced persons, written in her book "My Name is Aisha".


29 October 2019

Andrés Velasco on the Santiago protests

Professor Andrés Velasco has written a new article for Project Syndicate, "Santiago Under Siege", in which he explores the protests in Santiago and what this means for citizen dissatisfaction and the potential for violence in modern societies.

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22 October 2019

Professor Tony Travers quoted on London 2020 election

Professor Travers was quoted in an Evening Standard article on next year's 2020 London mayoral election, commenting on the position of lead candidates Sadiq Khan and Rory Stewart.

“I think the big question now is how far Rory Stewart, given he will have relatively high name recognition, can style himself as a sort of ‘Emmanuel Macron figure’ and stand above politics.

“Sadiq Khan starts in quite a good position, in that the Labour Party remains in a strong position in London. It’s very much Sadiq Khan’s to lose.”

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17 October 2019

Professor Alex Voorhoeve awarded funding

Congratulations to Professor Alex Voorhoeve, SPP faculty and Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, who has been awarded funding from the University of Bergen to participate in the Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS). 

BCEPS aims to develop and provide methods, evidence and normative guidance for ethically acceptable, fair, and efficient priority setting for improved population health and wellbeing in national health systems.

BCEPS, with support from Norad, will provide decision support to countries for fair and efficient priority setting – on the path to Universal Health Coverage, for public health, and for intersectoral action – in partial fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.


15 October 2019

Professor Andrés Velasco on The Temptations of Populism

The Dean of the School of Public Policy will be participating in an event on populism at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, on 29 October.

See full details.

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4 October 2019

Professor Tony Travers named in The Progress 1000

Yesterday Professor Travers was named in the Evening Standard's list of London's most influential people 2019, a celebration of the people changing London's future for the better. Coming tenth in the category Business: Property out of an overall list of 1000, Professor Travers is described as: "the go-to man for comment on the intricate web and bureaucratic process of running London — through its boroughs, councils and beyond. His opinion is sought after by our policymakers and he has sat on enough think tanks to turn him into a saint. Quiet, considered and reliable, Travers has more of a sense of humour than any academic specialising in local government has a right to possess."

See full list.


27 September 2019

Article: Argentina's Recurring Nightmare

Professor Andrés Velasco has written a new article for Project Syndicate, reflecting on Argentina and the country's President Mauricio Macri.

Read article here.


12 September 2019

An insightful week for EMPA and EMPP students

Last week EMPA and EMPP students attended their Economic Policy Analysis module, heard from three expert guest speakers, participated in a student-led Insight event and heard from LSE Careers.

Click for full details

Attending Economic Policy Analysis: Led by Dr Sandra Sequeira and Dr Ethan Ilzetzki, this course was about giving students the tools to critically analyse economic policy questions, with real-world contemporary issues under discussion.

Guest speakers: As well as learning from leading SPP faculty, the students also heard from three expert guest speakers, who gave deep insights into their areas of professional practice.

These speakers were Professor Sir Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Institute for Research and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy; Reza Moghadam, the Vice Chairman of Sovereigns & Official Institutions - Global Capital Markets, at Morgan Stanley; and Professor Paul Dolan, who heads the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE and is author of the best-selling books “Happiness by Design” and “Happy Ever After”.

paul_dolanProfessor Dolan speaking to students about happiness and public policy

Student-led Insight event: This was a chance for EMPA and EMPP students to give lectures on topics of their choice to their peers – a great opportunity for the students to learn from one another’s huge breadth of experience, interests and expertise. 

enrique_garciaEnrique Garcia spoke about the topic of migration in relation to Venezuela

This time Insight addressed the topic of migration, with students including Enrique Garcia speaking about policy issues through practical experiences from Venezuela, and Luisa Higuera Joseph who spoke about Colombia.

luisa-higuera 300Luisa Higuera Joseph giving her presentation

LSE Careers: During their time on campus the students had a session on strengths finding by LSE Careers, as well as one-on-one executive career coaching, to give tailored support and careers advice.

centre_building_student_spaceOne of the student working spaces in the new Centre Building

This was the first EMPA module that took place in the Centre Building, the new home of School of Public Policy, and the students really appreciated the fantastic newteaching and student spaces.



24 July 2019


Yesterday saw the graduation ceremony for the School of Public Policy, with MPA, Executive MPA and Executive MPP students joining staff and faculty to celebrate their achievement of completing their studies at the LSE. 

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24 June 2019

Professor Andrés Velasco on the gap between policy experts and voters

Professor Velasco published last week his latest column for Project Syndicate, examining the divide between policy experts and voters. Read the column here.


05 June 2019

SPP London alumni chapter launch

Last Thursday was the launch of the SPP alumni association’s new London chapter. The event took place at the Rugby Tavern pub in Bloomsbury, and saw over twenty five former students of the school come together to catch up, enjoy the free drinks and buffet and take part in a pub quiz. Also attending was the School of Public Policy’s manager Paul Sullivan, who described the night as a “great success”.

The School of Public Policy's Alumni Symposium, for MPA, EMPA and EMPP alumni, will take place next weekend, on Saturday the 15th June. It will include a keynote speech from the SPP Dean Professor Andrés Velasco, as well as several panels discussing topics such as technology, Brexit and climate change. Tickets also include lunch, refreshments and an evening drinks reception.

Click here for more details on the alumni symposium, including a link to buy tickets.

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22 May 2019

Executive MPA and MPP Policy in Practice weekend

This past weekend, students of the Executive Master’s in Public Administration and Executive Master’s in Public Policy came together at LSE for a Policy in Practice weekend.

The students attended talks covering topics such as social entrepreneurship, post-truth politics and combatting terrorism. Expert practitioners in these policy areas shared their insights alongside LSE faculty teaching the latest academic approach.

Click for full details

 We caught up with some of the second-year EMPA students after their talk from Lucy Lake, CEO of the Campaign for Female Education, who spoke about social entrepreneurship in a session on Friday.

Andrew, a second-year EMPA student, appreciated the linkages between social entrepreneurship and global issues. Fellow student Marlon was also inspired by this talk, seeing social entrepreneurship as a potential solution to challenges in his home country of Honduras.

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On Friday, Lucy Lake – CEO of the Campaign for Female Education – delivered a Policy in Practice session to EMPA students on the importance of social entrepreneurship.

Students were also excited for the rest of the weekend’s activities. Misha, a second-year EMPA student, was looking forward to Saturday’s focus on trade and protectionism, because of the prominence of this issue in the current global context. This was echoed by his classmate Gabriel, who thought that in an “era of the rise of protectionism” the talk was especially relevant, and that it would complement the Global Market Economics module that they studied in November.

For their talks on Friday, first-year EMPA students were exploring post-truth politics in a module led by Dr Alexandra Cirone. As well as looking at the most recent research and policy solutions on the issue, the day included a session from the New York Times journalist Amanda Taub.

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Journalist Amanda Taub of the New York Times spoke on the topic of post-truth politics and fake news.

Saturday’s session included a talk from Susan Haird, Associate Director for Trade and Investment at IMC Global, as well as lectures from LSE’s Dr Thomas Sampson, on the subject of trade agreements in a time of rising protectionism.

On Saturday evening, EMPA and EMPP second-year students were treated to a closing dinner in the magnificent 15th century Old Hall of Lincoln’s Inn to mark the last modular session of their studies.

The weekend closed for second-year students with Sunday’s talks on combatting terrorism, including one from Sir Richard Mottram, former permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence. First-year students studied migration and integration policy, with LSE’s Dr Dominik Hangartner. He was joined by the policy practitioner Cornelia Lüthy, the Vice Director of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, and an EMPA alumna herself.

It was a weekend of challenging policy discussion and debate, but also with plenty of time for the students and faculty to socialise and enjoy their time in London.

The weekend was perhaps best summarised by first-year EMPA student Enrico, who said that his key advice to next year’s cohort would be to take advantage of the “full package of LSE” and to use the Policy in Practice weekends to build friendships and expand your network as well as to learn cutting edge insights on policy issues.



14 May 2019

Andrés Velasco on emerging market central bank policies

SPP Dean Andrés Velasco has written an article for Project Syndicate on the propensity for Central Banks in emerging market economies to intervene in currency exchange rates, a topic that Agustin Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), spoke about at the LSE earlier in May. Read Dean Velasco’s full article here.

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21 April 2019

Student blog: Relflections on a WTO simulation

Over on the SPP blog, first year MPA student Sachiko Kureta has written an article reflecting on the 2019 model WTO conference in Switzerland. The conference - a simulation of WTO negotiations - lasted a week, and Sachiko talks about what they were doing during the simulation as well as what he was able to take from it. Read the full article here.

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20 March 2019

Student blog: MPA alumnus reflects on capstone project

Former MPA student Jesús Silva has written on the public policy student blog about his reflections, one year on, from the capstone project of his degree, which helped inform recent written recommendations from the British Chamber of Commerce to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee on Trade. Read the full post here.

The Public Sphere journal

19 February 2019

MPA student publishes climate change article

First year MPA student Iqbal Ahmed has written an article for The Public Sphere journal on the challenges posed to capitalism by climate change. Read the full article here.


18 February 2019

Professor Andrés Velasco interviewed in The Telegraph India

Dean Velasco, in an interview with the Indian newspaper, spoke on topics ranging from globalisation and faith in democracy to the challenges faced by the Indian Economy. Read the interview here.


29 January 2019

Professor Nava Ashraf – Rated as one of the top 25 behavioural economists in the world

Professor Nava Ashraf of the School of Public Policy has been included as one of the top twenty-five behavioural economists in the world, according to a new ranking published by Currently, Nava teaches PP452 Applying Behavioural Economics for Social Impact: Design, Delivery, Evaluation and Policy, which is a half-unit course offered by the School of Public Policy. In addition to her teaching duties, Nava serves as the Research Director for LSE’s Marshall Institute, a research centre that examines the effectiveness of private action for public benefit. The ranking details Nava’s impressive contributions to academia and society as a whole.

“In the scant dozen years since her dissertation (as of 2017), Ashraf has authored or co-authored some 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reports (some of the most important of which are listed below). She has been a Faculty Research Fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). She is currently a Fellow with the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), as well as an Affiliated Professor with MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Editor of the journal Economica. In 1995, at the age of 20, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia, the youngest person ever to receive that honor.”

Read the entire ranking of Behaviour Economists from

View Nava’s academic profile.


28 January 2019

LSE MPA Students and British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

As Brexit continues to consume Westminster, businesses are in search for clarity over the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

With assistance from the School of Public Policy’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) students, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) provided written recommendations to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee for Trade on business-government relations, during the UK’s Brexit transition process.

Read the full article.

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18 January 2019

Professor Tony Travers

Professor Tony Travers offers his assessment on the various Brexit possibilities, as the Government seeks to resolve the current stalemate.


09 January 2019

Professor Thomas Sampson

Professor Thomas Sampson was quoted in the FT's latest Brexit Breifing. The article, entitlted, "Should the world care about Brexit?" examined the rest of the world's reaction to the UK's eventual departure from the EU. 

"The period since world war II has been marked by
growing economic and cultural globalisation and, in Europe, increasing political integration under the auspices of the European Union," he wrote.

"Brexit marks a departure from this trend … More broadly, Brexit raises questions about the future
stability of the EU and the extent to which further globalisation is inevitable," Sampson explained.


03 January 2019

Professor Andrés Velasco

Professor Velasco tackles the mass protests against President Emmanuel Macron's fuel tax in his latest op-ed for Project Syndicate

"The economics of gas taxes is as old as the politics. The price of fuel in terms of other goods (what economists call a relative price) plays two roles at once. It guides consumption and production decisions: if diesel is dear, consumers will use less and producers refine more of it," Professor Velasco writes. 

Velasco also details his own experience with "diesel-fueled rage," as Chile's Finance Minister.


Governing England

17 December 2018

Professor Tony Travers of the LSE School of Public Policy has recently published a chapter in a new book examining governance in England.

In his chapter, Tony considers the development of London and its existence of a separate civic identity from the rest of England and the United Kingdom.

He takes into account London’s expansive geographical boundaries, separate governing institutions, and national responsibilities.


10 December 2018

Professor Tony Travers

Professor Tony Travers was recently quoted by the New York Times concerning the seizure of the cermonial mace in the UK Parliament. Professor Travers seeks to explain the theatre and politics surrounding the UK's departure from the European Union. 

Read The New York Times article.


05 December 2018

School of Public Policy Coffee Chat

Tinghua Yu is an LSE Fellow, who joined the School of Public Policy in 2017. She currently teaches PP478 Political Science for Public Policy, which examines important political phenomena, such as voting behaviour, elections, and lobbying.


03 December 2018

Patrick Ronk

First-year MPA student Patrick Ronk analyses the 2018 US midterm results in an article for the Public Sphere, the student-run journal of the LSE School of Public Policy. 

"The Democratic Party now finds itself in its strongest position thus far in the Trump presidency," writes Ronk.

"Their hold on the House not only affords them the ability to keep Trump’s worst policy impulses in check, but also gives them the ability to deeply investigate the President’s tax returns, ties to foreign entities, and host of other potential corruption scandals lying under the surface," he said. 

Please visit the Public Sphere to read Patrick's article.


30 November 2018

Professor Andrés Velasco

'Populism Is Rooted in Politics, not Economics'

"Some one billion people around the world are now being ruled by populists of one sort or another. That number will continue to grow if we continue to view populism as the result of economic rather than political dysfunction," writes Professor Velasco. 

In his latest column for Project Syndicate, Professor Velasco explains why global populism has been largely concentrated on the right, rather than on the left.

Read Professor Velasco's latest column on Project Syndicate.


27 November 2018

LSE SPP Official Launch Event

Across the globe, liberal democracy is under threat from populism. In this landmark event, the Director of the LSE, Dame Minouche Shafik, and the Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy, Professor Andres Velasco, will be joined by an esteemed panel to understand the causes of this trend and how it can be reversed.

Why have populists been able to gain public traction so easily? Where have establishment politicians and institutions gone wrong? Why have liberals’ responses to this challenge been so ineffective and at times so inaudible? What skills do policy-makers need to survive and thrive in this environment, and how can schools of public policy –perhaps the ultimate bastions of reasoned judgement in the pursuit of public service– contribute to the defence of liberal democratic values?

 To learn more about the LSE SPP launch event, please visit our dedicated event webpage.


15 November 2018

Professor Andrés Velasco, the inaugural Dean of the LSE School of Public Policy, hosted this year's House of Commons Alumni Gala Dinner.

"Professor Velasco shared with guests his excitement at joining the School and his enthusiasm for the new School of Public Policy – especially with reference to its positive actions in relation to the forthcoming Strategy 2030. He also introduced the host for the evening, the Rt Hon. Mark Field, MP for City of London and Westminster – the constituency in which LSE is located – who shared his experiences of representing such a diverse community," according to the LSE Alumni press release.

"More than 150 alumni and guests joined together, representing every generation, with graduation years spanning seven decades. A large group of recent graduates who were attending their very first LSE alumni event were welcomed into the alumni network," said the press release. 

To learn more about alumni activities, please visit the LSE Alumni website.


13 November 2018

2018 Midterm Elections: What Happened in Texas?

Mariana Adame, a first-year Master of Public Administration candidate at the School of Public Policy, discusses Beto O'Rourke's unprecedented rise to political stardom within the Democratic Party. 

In her article, which was posted in the student led Public Sphere journal, Mariana aruges,"O’Rourke led one of the most impressive campaigns of this year’s midterm elections."

"Beto became a household name. His campaign raised a staggering 70 million dollars, smashing all previous Senate campaign fundraising records. His campaign rally, a concert with Texas legend Willie Nelson, drew 55,000 people. In comparison, Hilary Clinton drew about 44,000 individuals to her biggest rally and Donald Trump had a turnout of 28,000 at his largest rally in Mobile, Alabama," she said.

Prior to attending LSE, Mariana served as a policy aide for U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela. 

To read Mariana's entire article on the rise of Beto O'Rourke, please visit the Public Sphere.


6 November 2018

Executive degree students return to campus

Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) and Executive Master of Public Policy (EMPP) students are on campus to participate in Global Market Economics module.

"LSE’s cherished on-campus pub, the George IV, was busier than usual this Monday night. Students, professors, and alumni from the School of Public Policy’s two executive programmes - the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) and the UK Civil Service and LSE Executive Master of Public Policy (EMPP) – were gathering for a well-earned rest.

This week marks the start of the executive degree programmes’ option module in Global Market Economics. Nearly thirty five students from the EMPA and EMPP programmes are on campus to complete the module, which analyses the geographic and macroeconomic factors of world trade."

Read the full article.

Sara Hagemann

31 October 2018

Professor Sara Hagemann

Dr. Sara Hagemann, offers expert testimony to the UK House of Commons on the ramifications of Brexit.

On Wednesday 31 October, Sara appeared before the Exiting the European Union Commitee to offer insight on the progress of the UK's Brexit position. In response to a question from the Chair of the Committee about the future relationship between the UK and the European Union in a post-Brexit world, Dr. Hagemann said, 

"Everything depends on the withdrawal agreement and the kind of relationship the UK itself is proposing and willing to get into. From the very beginning, from the rest of the EU there has been a whole range of options available, from the Norway model to the Canada model and others."

Learn more about Sara's testimony.

Taming the Flow of Global Capital

22 October 2018

Professor Andrés Velasco

"Taming Capital Flow Volatility"

Professor Andrés Velasco discusses the importance of taming capital flow volitatilty in a new piece for Project Syndicate. 

Professor Velasco, who recently attended the 2018 Annual Meeting of the IMF and World Bank in October, examines the prevelance of bilateral trade swaps and regional financial agreements in today's international system.

In his argument, Professor Velasco emphasizes the need for a global financial safety net, so that emerging economies, "are well protected against excessive capital-flow volatility and self-fulfilling financial market panics." 

Tony Travers

18 October 2018

Professor Tony Travers

Quoted in the Financial Times about local councils and the UK property market.

"They will continue looking for any revenue they can to try to prop up their much-reduced resources, and I suspect there will be more [property] investment unless the government decides it wants to cap it off more than it has already," argued Professor Travers. 

To access the full article, please visit the FT's website.

Paul Sullivan

15 October 2018

Our Newest Degree

Paul Sullivan discusses the creation of our new Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree.

Paul Sullivan - manager of the LSE School of Public Policy - explains how a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree will equip you with the necessary skills to address the world's most pressing public policy challenges.

"Our MPP offers grounding in many key specialisms of policy-making. Since the degree is at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), we make economics and political science the core of what we teach, alongside quantitative methods of analysis," said Paul.

With regard to the structure of the degree, Paul explains, "the MPP core includes a ground-breaking course on the management of public organisations and an ‘Applications’ course at the nexus between frontier academic research and policy-making, showing how the two combine. Students then add electives – option courses as they are known in LSE – in law, philosophy, development and more, or other graduate courses from across LSE."

For the full interview, please visit our MPP homepage.

Planning for Post Maduro Venezula

3 October 2018

Professor Andrés Velasco

Writes on the ramifications of a post-Maduro government in Venezuela for Project Syndicate. 

"No one in Venezuela or abroad can be sure how President Nicolás Maduro's regime will go, but it seems increasingly clear that it will. When it does, Venezuela’s transition to democracy and a market economy will be filled with perils and pitfalls, and much sacrifice will be required," writes Professor Velasco. 

Read Professor Velasco's entire article.


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