What It Means to be a Progressive Today and How to Maintain Optimism


Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge

Join us for our next seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion entitled: "What It Means to be a Progressive Today and How to Maintain Optimism."

The British Labor Party has been the standard bearer for progressive politics and policy in England for more than a century. Since its foundation the British Labour Party has been essentially a coalition from social democracy to socialism. While always evolving the Labour Party, as dismal opinion polling shows, is becoming a mass membership movement rather than a government in waiting. How can center left progressives in the UK and elsewhere reboot to develop policies and a politics that reconciles conflicting commitments to equality, social inclusion, internationalism, markets and globalization and improved opportunities for working people?

This discussion will be moderated by  Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and HKS Academic Dean.

About the Series
Making Democracy WorkIn a series of four seminars, Baroness Tessa Jowell will reflect on the threat to progressive politics from the anger that is driving “populist” politics on the left and right. She will discuss the challenge to progressive politics and policy created by the division between the alienated 90% and the hostility to the 10%, “the elite” whose leadership and decisions in politics and business they hold responsible for failing to improve living standards and create social and economic opportunity. This increasing distance between citizens and political leaders threatens established parties, claims to evidence and science, and to the openness and optimism that define progressive politics. On what basis can progressive optimism be rebuilt?

About the Speaker
Baroness Tessa Jowell is currently a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she also serves as an expert advisor to the Ministerial Development Programme. She stepped down as a member of Parliament after 23 years in 2015. She now sits as a Labour Peer in the House of Lords. She served in the Labour government for all its 13 years holding Ministerial positions in Public Health, where she established the Sure Start early nurture programme together with national programmes to tackle health inequality. As employment and women's minister she introduced, inter alia, new maternity rights and paternity leave. She is also a Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and a Board member of the Economist.

Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development  |  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard TC Chan

HKS British and Irish Caucus


British and Irish Caucus