Liberty and Security – for all or the (privileged) few? - RSA

Liberty and Security – for all or the (privileged) few?

Public talks


RSA House, London

  • Institutional reform
  • Global

Distinguished human rights lawyer, barrister and academic, Professor Conor Gearty argues that a new vision of universal freedom is urgently required.

RSA Thursday

All aspire to liberty and security in their lives, but few people truly enjoy them.

In his latest book Liberty and Security, Conor Gearty identifies our world as a 'neodemocratic' one, where the proclamation of universal liberty and security is routinely mocked by facts on the ground: the vast inequalities in supposedly free societies, the authoritarian regimes with regular elections, and the terrible socio-economic deprivation camouflaged by cynically proclaimed commitments to human rights.

At the RSA, Conor Gearty offers an explanation of how this has come about, providing also a criticism of the present age which tolerates it. He then goes on to set out a manifesto for a better future, a place where liberty and security can be rich platforms for everyone's life. Gearty identifies neo-democracies as those places which play at democracy so as to disguise the injustice at their core. But it is not just the new 'democracies' that have turned 'neo'; the so-called established democracies are also hurtling in the same direction, as is the United Nations.

A new vision of universal freedom is urgently required. Drawing on scholarship in law, human rights and political science, Conor Gearty argues for just such a vision, one in which the great achievements of our democratic past are not jettisoned as easily as were the socialist ideals of the original democracy-makers.

Speaker: Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics and founder member, Matrix Chambers.

Chair: David Aaronovitch is a writer, broadcaster and commentator on international politics and the media.


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