Workshop: ‘Political Crises in Recent History’ with Jared Diamond, 1 December 2016

To view films of the events on 30 November and 2 December visit

Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History of Ideas 2016-17
Danger, Crisis, Religion
Professor Jared Diamond
UCLA | Humanitas Visiting Professor in the History of Ideas

Workshop: ‘Political Crises in Recent History’ 
Thursday 1 December, 2pm-5.30pm (followed by drinks reception 5.30-6.30pm)
Venue: Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL

Commentators include: David Priestland (St Edmund’s, Oxford), Ben Jackson (University College, Oxford), Johanna Rainio-Niemi (Helsinki), Paul Betts (St Antony’s, Oxford), Harriet Mercer (D.Phil. Corpus Christi, Oxford) 

The Oxford Centre for Global History will be hosting a workshop on ‘Political Crises in Recent History’ with Professor Jared Diamond as part of the Weidenfeld-Hoffman Trust’s Humanitas series in the History of Ideas 2016-17. Professor Diamond will be discussing case studies from his current book project, a comparative study of selective change in response to national crises in a selection of modern countries, such as Japan in the Meiji Era; Finland during and after its wars with the Soviet Union; Chile before and after the tumult and coup of the 1960’s-1980’s; Indonesia up to and following the failed coup of 1965; post war Britain; post war Australia; and post war Germany. 

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Originally trained in physiology, his interests have led him to make contributions in the fields of anthropology, geography, ecology and evolutionary biology. He is a prolific author, and several of his works – most notably The Third Chimpanzee (1991); the Pullitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel (1997); Collapse (2005); and The World Until Yesterday (2012) – have had a major impact on public discourse. As a leading public intellectual, Diamond contributes to a range of debates and is particularly interested in traditional societies, particularly through his long relationship with the island of New Guinea. He sits on the editorial board of the Skeptic Magazine, and is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is also the US Regional Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature. 

Please note, this workshop is now fully booked.

Convenors: James Belich and Erica Charters


This event is part of the Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History Of Ideas 2016-17 ‘Danger, Crisis, Religion’ series which also comprise: 

Lecture: Traditional Assessment of Danger
Wednesday 30 November, 5pm – Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre, Saïd Business School, Oxford, OX1 1HP

In Conversation: Religion with Jared Diamond and Richard Dawkins
Friday 2 December, 5pm – T.S. Eliot Theatre, Merton College, Oxford, OX1 4JD

These events are free and open to all, however booking is essential. For more information and free registration, please visit:

HUMANITAS is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by the late Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust with the support of a series of generous benefactors.

The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History of Ideas has been made possible by the generous support of Francis Finlay.