The Harold Laski Chair has been created by LSE to commemorate its former professor and one of Britain’s most prominent socialists, who taught at the School from 1926 until his death in 1950.
Professor Simon Hix joined the LSE faculty in 1997, having studied as an undergraduate at the School in 1987-1990, and was promoted to professor in 2005, according to LSE.
He is author of over 50 articles in top international journals in political science, numerous policy papers, and seven books, including The Political System of the European Union (Palgrave, 2011, with Bjorn Hoyland), What’s Wrong with the EU and How to Fix It (Polity, 2008), and Democratic Politics in the European Parliament (Cambridge University Press, 2007, with Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland).
Professor Hix regularly gives evidence to committees in the House of Commons, House of Lords, and the European Parliament and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2011.
He will give the Harold Laski Chair Inaugural Lecture at LSE on Wednesday 30 September. His lecture, titled “The Future of Britain and Europe”, will discuss possible options for the reform of Britain’s relationship with the EU and the likely long-term consequences for the UK and the EU of a Yes or a No vote.
In response to his appointment Professor Hix said:
“It is a great honour to hold the inaugural Harold Laski Chair. Laski was not only a renowned scholar and inspiring teacher, but was also a prominent public intellectual, shaping political debates in his day. I have tried throughout my academic career to make my teaching and research relevant to politics and policy-makers, and I hope I can continue to do so in this new role, keeping alive Laski’s legacy at LSE.”
Harold Laski joined the staff of LSE in 1920 and six years later became a professor of political science. An outstanding lecturer, his students included Kingsley Martin, Ralph Miliband and journalist Ella Winter. Miliband later described Laski’s lectures on the history of political ideas as “brilliant, eloquent, and delivered without a note”.
Hugely significant in political science and a leading British intellectual of the 20th century, Harold Laski was a controversial, outspoken figure loved and respected by students and colleagues alike. He knew world leaders, including Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, and helped shaped Labour party policy in the 1930s and 1940s.
Roger Mathewson, a grandson of Harold Laski, said:
“My grandfather’s family were very pleased to hear that LSE had decided to create this Chair in Professor Laski’s honour and my wife and I are look forward to attending the event on 30 September. My grandmother, Frida Laski, would have been especially touched that her husband was given this recognition.”