Milena Buchs: Postgrowth: what about welfare and wellbeing? (16 March)

Leeds Taking Soundings presents:

Postgrowth: what about welfare and wellbeing?

Milena Buchs
In recent years, ideas of postgrowth economies have been gaining much wider appeal. This approach is based on critiques of economic growth from environmental and social perspectives, and on increasing fears about whether Western economies are entering an era of “secular stagnation”. In this setting, economic growth becomes both less desirable and less achievable.

All this has important implications for debates about the future of welfare and wellbeing. Advocates of postgrowth offer many good arguments about how social wellbeing can be maintained and even improved. However, they require more critical consideration. This is because the present welfare state and wellbeing are tightly coupled with growth-based capitalist market economies.

This talk aims to provide an overview and invites discussion of the main arguments about welfare and wellbeing in the postgrowth debate which is also the focus of our current Palgrave Pivot book project (co-authored with Max Koch).

Milena Buchs is an Associate Professor in Sustainability, Economics, and Low Carbon Transitions at the University of Leeds. Milena’s background is in sociology and social policy. Her current research focusses on the relationship between low carbon transitions, welfare and well-being.  More here

Twitter: @mmbuchs

VENUE: Room CL311, Calverley Building, Leeds Beckett University, Woodhouse Lane

TIME: 6 pm – 730 pm, Thursday 16th March, 2017

HOW TO FIND US: Enter the university through the huge glass doors opposite the Dry Dock on Woodhouse Lane.  Walk straight ahead, descending a flight of about ten stairs. Turn right at the next set of stairs and get into the lift in Calverley Building. CL 311 is on the third floor.

For disabled access, please ask the staff at the reception desk on the right, through the glass doors.

Sunder Katwala discusses immigration in light of Brexit (9 March)

Leeds Beckett University

Politics & International Relations Public Lecture

 

After Brexit how should we talk about Immigration?

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future

 

Thursday 9 March 2017

17:30 – 19:00

Refreshments from 5.00pm

 

City Campus

Woodhouse Lecture Theatre 1 WHG01

 

All Welcome

 

Public attitudes to immigration and cultural diversity are polarised between ‘Rejectionists’ and ‘Migration liberals’ but with quite a large ‘Anxious middle’. There have been persistent majorities in favour of reducing immigration, and in recent years immigration has consistently been seen as one of the most important issues facing Britain. Immigration was a key issue in the EU referendum and was one of the main concerns motivating Leave voters. Consequently, Brexit has been interpreted by the government primarily as a vote in favour of controlling, and reducing, immigration. British Future has been at the forefront of efforts to promote an open and constructive public discussion of immigration, the need for which is now urgent. In this lecture the Director of British Future, Sunder Katwala, will discuss how to talk about immigration after Brexit.

 

Sunder Katwala is the Director of British Future. He has previously worked as a journalist. He was general secretary of the Fabian Society think tank from 2003 to 2011, and was previously a leader writer and internet editor at The Observer, a research director of the Foreign Policy Centre and commissioning editor for politics and economics at the publisher Macmillan. He was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, to parents who came to Britain from India and Ireland to work for the NHS. http://www.britishfuture.org/about/who-we-are/

 

Register here

 

 

 

Taking Soundings on The Northern Powerhouse with Dr Arianna Giovannini, 14 Feb 2017

TAKING SOUNDINGS IN LEEDS PRESENTS

Dr Arianna Giovannini on

The Northern Powerhouse and devolution: revolution or chaos?

The Northern Powerhouse agenda, and the devolution deals associated with it, were presented by George Osborne as the making of a ‘devolution revolution’ in the North of England. But while the signing of the ‘Devo Manc’ agreement has followed a rather smooth path, the plan is developing in an uneven way across other parts of the North, especially in the aftermath of Brexit and of Osborne’s departure as Chancellor.

The aim of this talk is to highlight the key issues underpinning the Northern Powerhouse and Devo-Deal discourses, questioning whether these strategies have the potential to lead to a more economically, politically and socially sustainable system of governance across the North. To unpack this argument, I will draw on the case of Yorkshire—an area that seems to epitomise most of the idiosyncrasies implicit in the current devolution agenda for the North of England.

It will be argued that, beyond rhetoric, the Northern Powerhouse and Devo-Deals agreements in the North are still part of an un-codified, ‘muddled’ process based on a centrally orchestrated patchwork of spatial and governance ‘fixes’ that lack a common purpose, a sound democratic basis and, crucially, a clear roadmap.

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Dr. Arianna Giovannini is a Lecturer in Local Politics at the Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University, Leicester. Her research focuses on territorial politics and devolution in the UK, with a particular emphasis on the ‘English Question’ and the case of the North of England. Currently, her work in this area concentrates on the tensions between technocratic and democratic approaches to devolution in the context of the recent ‘Devo Deals’ and ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda, as well as on the link between territorial identity and devolution in the North.

She is on Twitter @AriannaGi

VENUE: Room CL311, Calverley Building, Leeds Beckett University, Woodhouse Lane,

DATE & TIME: 6 – 7.30pm, Tuesday 14th February 2017.

HOW TO FIND US: Enter the university through the huge glass doors opposite the Dry Dock on Woodhouse Lane.  Walk straight ahead, descending a flight of about ten stairs. Turn right at the next set of stairs and get into the lift in Calverley Building. CL 311 is on the third floor. For disabled access, please ask the staff at the reception desk on the right, through the glass doors.

The populist moment: how to respond? (14 Dec 2016)

Leeds Taking Soundings’ next Readers’ Meeting will examine the new populism, focusing on Brexit in the UK and Trump in the US, but other countries will no doubt come into focus too.

For the meeting, we will have read this article by Chantal Mouffe (on populism), this article by Paul Mason (on Brexit) and this article by Zymunt Bauman (on Trump).

We welcome anyone who would like to join in an open-ended discussion. No charge.

The discussion will start at 7.30pm and end at 9pm (or earlier if we dry up). Then anyone who feels like a festive drink will repair to a nearby hostelry.

It’s on Wednesday 14th December. The discussion will be at Leeds Becket University’s city centre campus, in the Portland building, room 408. [CC PD408] This is best accessed through the huge glass doors on Woodhouse Lane, opposite the Dry Dock pub. There should be a helpful security person at the desk on your right. If not, walk past the library and the Grumpy Mule cafe area, down two flights of steps to the lifts on your left. Up to the fourth floor, room 408. This web-page might help.

 

Zygmunt Bauman speaks in Leeds on 30th November

Taking Soundings is delighted to host Zygmunt Bauman on Wednesday 30th November 2016. (Venue details below.) The title of Prof Bauman’s talk is

“Some comments on current social and political tendencies”

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Zygmunt Bauman, launching Taking Soundings in Leeds on 16th January 2007. (Photo: Guy Farrar.)

“Some comments on current social and political tendencies”

Zygmunt Bauman will be offering his answer to these two questions:

  1. What do Brexit and Trump tell us about the state of society today?
  2. What does the moral panic about the “influx of immigrants” tel us about society today?

You can get a preview of his analysis in this interview (released on 14.11.16) with Social Europe.

Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds, is one of the world’s leading sociologists. He is the author of more than 70 books, translated into many languages. (Wiki’s version of Bauman’s biography, ideas and Bibliography is here.)

He is one of the most persuasive of commentators on the effects of what he has called ‘liquid modernity’, pointing to its rampant inequality and the transition it makes from a welfare state to a security state.

Bauman’s analysis, we suggest, should inform the new progressive, left-alliance politics that is emerging in response to the authoritarian populist movements of the political right.

After his lecture, Max Farrar, who was a student of Zygmunt Bauman’s, will offer an appreciation of his work.

Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016

Time: 6 – 8 pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre C444, on the fourth floor of The Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University, Portland Crescent, Leeds LS1 3HB

Free event: pay as you can afford.

 

 

Festival of Politics in Leeds (November 2016)

Apologies for not posting on this site since we announced the sad news of the death of our friend and Taking Soundings founder and stalwart, Matthew Caygill. We’ve been doing some re-thinking and are pleased to say that we have new committee members and plans for future meetings.

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Right now, we recommend these events organised by our colleagues at Leeds Beckett University

The annual Festival of Politics & International Relations involves a programme of talks, debates, workshops, films and other events providing opportunities for argument and discussion on a range of social, political and economic issues – contemporary and historical, national and global.

Full information/registration

Each year speakers include academics, politicians, campaigners and journalists and this year we are delighted to confirm the following visiting speakers:

  • Making Sense of the Syrian Conflict- Federico Venturini, Leeds Friends of Rojava & Javaad Alipoor, co-author ‘Khiyana: Daesh, the Left and the Unmaking of the Syrian Revolution’
  • Should universities be ‘Safe Spaces’?- Robert Sharp,  Head of Campaigns and Communications, English PEN www.englishpen.org
  • Responding to the Refugee Crisis. What can be done, locally and nationally?- Jon Beech.  Director, Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network (LASSN) www.lassn.org.uk
  • Can Labour Win Under Jeremy Corbyn?- Richard Burgon MP (Labour, Leeds East) Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

All events are free and open to the public except for those indicated.

For more information and to register for events, please go to: https://pirfestival2016.eventbrite.co.uk

Please share with your networks and students.

The festival is organised by the Politics & International relations Group in the School of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett University.

 

Telling the Truth about Asylum, 15 June 2016, 6pm

The next meeting of Taking Soundings in Leeds:

Lorna Gledhill on the Refugee Crisis: ‘Telling the Truth about Asylum: Changing the Narrative’ 

Faced with the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two, how we talk about people seeking safety is incredibly important. However, certain messages have dominated public and political conversations about migration; some voices have been louder than others. This narrative has shaped the European response to the refugee crisis, with many countries shoring up their border rather than providing protection. Swarms, floods, and marauding migrants: we’ve all read the headlines.

We’ll be looking at how the language surrounding the refugee crisis has informed and influenced the way in which refugees have been welcomed and unwelcomed in Europe, whose stories have been heard and whose have been silenced, and think about what we can do to tell a different story. We will also discuss practical actions the Regional Asylum Activism Project and others engage in.

Lorna Gledhill is the Yorkshire and Humberside Activism Coordinator for the Regional Asylum Activism Project. She works with colleagues in the West Midlands and the North West to campaign for the rights of people seeking refugee protection in the UK. She is also a member of the David Oluwale Memorial Association’s Advisory Group.

Meeting information

At 6PM on Wednesday, June 15th at Leeds Beckett University, City Site

Calverley Building (CL) Room 211

Please note, this is not our normal venue. The Calverley building is best accessed through the huge glass doors opposite  opposite the Dry Dock pub, on grass Woodhouse Lane, opposite the multi-storey car park (which is probably the best place to park if you are driving).  Thought the glass doors, past the library on your left, past the Grumpy Mule café, then down the stairs until you reach the foyer. Use the lifts on the left of the foyer reception desk to get to the second floor, where you’ll find Room 211. Give yourself some extra time to find this if you haven’t been there before. Apologies for the inconvenience.

European Union: Should leftists vote Brexit or Remain?

Leeds Taking Soundings’ next meeting is a debate about the referendum on the European Union.

On Tuesday, May 17th at 6PM in Leeds Beckett University, Calverley (CL)211.

 Please note change of location: instead of Broadcasting Place, we are meeting on the other side of the road in the main complex of Leeds Beckett University City Site. Enter through the main Woodhouse Lane entry in front of the Sheila Silver Library, past the library towards the Grumpy Mule cafe. There will be signposts towards the Calverley Building. The meeting is on the second floor.

Arguing to leave the EU will be Neil Davidson.

image001Neil  lectures in sociology at the University of Glasgow and is a member of rs21, RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance, and the Radical Independence Campaign. He is the author of several books, including the Deutscher Prize-winning Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003) and How Revolutionary were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (2012) His most recent book is Nation-States: Consciousness and Competition (2016).

Arguing for ‘Remain’ will be Pete Green.

image002Pete is a member of Left Unity and was formerly a Left Unity national speaker, a retired FE lecturer and union branch secretary, now writing a book on ‘Marx, Keynes and the Austrians’.

As always we will be aiming at delivering a friendly and educational discussion about a vital issue. Please contact Matthew Caygill at m.caygill@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for further information.

 

Tuesday, May 17th at 6PM in Leeds Beckett University, Calverley (CL)211. (See above for directions on the venue.)

 

 

EU: In or Out? on Sunday 22nd May

The EU referendum is almost upon us. So: EU in or out?

If you’re turned off by all the talk and fed up with the facts and figures, join Unlock Democracy and Talk Shop on Sunday 22nd May. Come and meet with others trying to make up their mind, get the key info and talk through the issues.

Our event on 22nd will be practical politics in action: the chance to meet one another, debate the big questions and decide which way you’ll vote.

We’ll be joined by some speakers, but this is more about the participation than panel. After all, it’s your vote.

We are neutral on the referendum and we welcome all views.

The day is free and open to all, so sign up below to book your slot.

More about unlock democracy and event sign-up details are here 

More about Talk Shop here

Join the CND demo on Saturday 27th Feb

CND’s national demonstration to protest against Trident is just days away – on 27th February – and there’s still lots to do!

Stop Trident Rally in London – this Friday
Help make this the biggest mobilisation of people against Trident for a generation. If you’re in London, come to the rally at Friends House at Euston, this Friday, 19th February.

Join us and speakers: Tariq Ali • Kate Hudson CND general secretary • Richard Norton Taylor The Guardian • Lindsey German Stop the War • Brian Eno • Bruce Kent CND vice president • Amelia Womack Green Party deputy leader • Shelly Asquith NUS

Want to help with the demo? Following the rally we will discuss logistics: leafleting, placards, stewarding… We’ll decide and assign tasks after the rally – join us!

If you’re not in London, take a look at the CND website to find one of the many local events happening in the run up to (and after!) the demonstration.
                                                                                                                                               
#StopTrident Demonstration: Saturday 27th February
Assemble 12 noon 
Marble Arch, London

Join us to say No to government plans to buy a new system at a cost of over £100 billion. Let’s get the message out loud and clear: we don’t want Trident! We’ll be marching from Marble Arch to a rally in Trafalgar Square – join us!

Need transport to the demo? Book your place on one of the many coaches coming from around the UK. Find your local transport on the CND website here.

Sign up to the event on Facebook if you haven’t already!