The Tom Nairn lecture series each year brings pre-eminent thinkers of global issues from around the world to share their knowledge and propose big ideas and challenges for the future.
The Tom Nairn lectures are presented by the Centre for Global Research.
2014 Tom Nairn Lecture
Date: Thursday 4 December 2014
Venue: RMIT Capitol Theatre, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This Tom Nairn Lecture was delivered by the former French Prime Minister, Mr Lionel Jospin.
Entitled ‘From the Napoleonic Venture to the Current European Malaise’ the lecture was introduced by the former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable Paul Keating.
Lionel Jospin used the lecture to discuss how the sudden rise of Napoléon Bonaparte – with his establishment of Caesarism (charismatic autocracy) in France and its subsequent imposition on the continent – prevented the modernisation of Europe with drastic consequences for the future.
2013 Tom Nairn Lecture
Professor Roland Robertson delivered the 2013 Globalism Research Centre Tom Nairn Lecture on 20 May 2013.
Professor Roland Robertson presented 'Revitalizing Globalization Analysis', where he addressed the problems facing the study of globalization and suggested ways to reinvigorate the field. Firstly the dynamics of globalization as a long-term process were considered, and then the 'position' of planet earth (the globe) within the universe. This entailed advocating a link being made between the study of globalization (and glocalization) to astronomy and cosmology. In this connection the significance of earthly travel and exploration will, in effect, be relativized and related to cyber and outer space considerations. This involves in part what has recently been called the Big Bang of consciousness.
Roland Robertson is from the Universities of Pittsburgh and Aberdeen. He is one of the pioneers of globalization research. His seminal work, Globalization, Social Theory and Global Culture (1992), endures as a definitive study of globalization in theory and practice.
2012 Tom Nairn Lecture
Professor David Held delivered the 2012 Globalism Research Centre Tom Nairn Lecture on 27 March 2012.
‘Cosmopolitanism in the Multipolar World’ presented David Held's thinking about the future of humankind with a determined optimism, while recognising that from 9/11 to the present day, terrorism, conflict, territorial struggle and the clash of identities define the moment. While his talk acknowledged these challenges, Professor Held argued that the 20th century established a series of cosmopolitan steps which develop forms of action beyond nation-states, to a more rule-based international order founded on principles of individual human rights.
David Held is Master of University College, Durham, and Professor of Politics and International Relations at Durham University. He is a British social and political theorist, and a prominent figure within the field of international relations. He has been a key figure in the development of theories of cosmopolitanism, and of cosmopolitan democracy in particular, and is a leading scholar on issues of globalisation and global governance. Two decades ago David co-founded Polity, which is now a major presence in social science and humanities publishing.
Listen or watch the lecture
- Cosmopolitanism in the Multipolar World (MP3 123 MB 89 min)
- Cosmopolitanism in the Multipolar world video (via iTunes U)
2011 Tom Nairn Lecture
Professor Liah Greenfeld, one of the preeminent authorities on nationalism, delivered the 2011 Tom Nairn Lecture.
In her lecture ‘Globalisation of nationalism into China and the beginning of a new era in history?’, Liah Greenfeld discussed the nature of nationalism and globalisation, focusing on the significance of the spread of nationalism into East and South Asia (China, in particular); that is, across the boundaries of our, Western, civilisation.
Her central argument was that nationalism has provided the motive force for Asian civilisations to enter into the competition with the West, making their rise to world-dominance inevitable, and that, therefore, we are standing on the verge of the historical change of the guard: within very few years we’ll be living in the world, ruled — culturally, politically, militarily, and morally — by Asian powers.
Liah Greenfeld is Professor of Political Science and Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the Social Sciences, Boston University. Her books include Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (1992) and The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth (2001). Her current work concerns the interrelations between culture and the mind and specifically mental disease on modern society.