The Public Realm Lecture Series: Matthew Taylor

24th May 2011, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Edge Hill University

The Centre for Local Policy Studies is launching a major series of open lectures on the theme of the Public Realm with a talk by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, former Chief Advisor on Political Strategy to Tony Blair, author, media commentator, and acclaimed speaker.

The Public Realm

The existence of a public realm may be seen as the expression of a common ‘good’, the basis of a shared relationship between citizens. It is a recognition that there are areas of life that are not and should not be controlled by private interests.

We are entering a period where the boundaries of public and private are once again shifting. Distinctions between public and private have become increasingly blurred under successive governments since the 1980s and the pattern of debate, as the coalition government addresses the recession, can be seen as portraying ‘private’ as good and ‘public’ as bad. Yet many of the challenges that we face both nationally and globally evoke the public realm and its importance. The challenges of climate change, the digital and globalised economy, the crises in the banking system, the future of the welfare state all raise questions about the public realm, its scope and the way it is governed.

To explore these issues the Centre for Local Policy Studies has initiated a series of public lectures and debates on the Public Realm, its meaning and its future.

Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor became Chief Executive of the RSA in November 2006. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Matthew was appointed to the Labour Party in 1994 to establish Labour’s rebuttal operation. During the 1997 General Election he was Labour’s Director of Policy.

His activities before the Labour Party included being a county councillor, a parliamentary candidate, a university research fellow and the director of a unit monitoring policy in the health service.

He was the Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research between 1999 and 2003, Britain’s leading centre left think tank. Matthew has written for publications including The Times, Financial Times, New Statesman and Prospect.

Read Matthew Taylor’s blog at


  • 5.30pm – Arrival and drinks with canapés
  • 6.30pm – Public lecture commences
  • 7.30pm – Refreshments and networking

Book Your Place

Matthew Taylor’s public lecture is free to attend and spaces are limited. To book your place,