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With speaker Jeffrey Henderson, Professor of International Development at the University of Bristol.

Jeffrey Henderson, a Leeds resident for over 20 years, is Professor of International Development at the University of Bristol. He has also held posts at the Universities of Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds as well as at universities in Hong Kong, the USA, Australia, Japan and The Netherlands. He works on economic development and public policy, particularly in East Asia and Europe (including Britain) and has been an advisor to the International Labour Organisation, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Council of Europe and the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology.

Setting to one side conventional wisdom about the reasons for the 2016 referendum vote and its aftermath, this talk will begin by arguing that the political crisis that Britain now confronts originated from a combination of three factors: the historical wasting of Britain’s regional economies and the insecurities of work and family life that have resulted;  the largely unnecessary austerity programme that has further damaged community cohesion; and the post-imperial crisis of (white) English identity. Commenting on the right-wing nationalism that seems to have surged since the Brexit vote, the talk will then argue that regional economic transformation is essential to avoiding the dangers such nationalism implies. Transformation, however, will be very difficult to achieve if Britain is not an EU member. The talk will end by spelling out a realistic future for Britain outside of the EU: one that involves an economy, and thus a polity, increasingly influenced by US and, particularly, Chinese interests.

Suggested donations of £3, but no-one turned away due to lack of funds.