Can we make accountable societies?

Blavatnik School of Government, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Open to the public
This event is free
May 2018

Lessons from the Dutch Golden Age and the invention of sustainable finance

Society today has a crisis of confidence in elites. This extends to both public and private finance, which are seen negatively by huge swathes of the population. This talk will show how modern Europe built financial and governmental trust and confidence via a culture of accountability in 16th and 17th Century Holland and Britain. It will ask, is it possible to achieve an accountable society today?

Speaker bio

Jacob Soll, a MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning historian is University Professor at the University of Southern California. His 2014 book The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations has been a global bestseller. It explains the origins of our own financial crisis as deeply rooted in a long disconnect between human beings and their attempts to manage financial numbers.  One of his new books is Free Market: The History of a Dream (Basic Books), an intellectual history of free market thought that delves into classical antiquity as well as the aristocratic origins of modern economics.