In his keynote lecture at this year’s alumni weekend, the Chancellor of the University, Lord Patten of Barnes, shared his opinions on whether the West has had its day.
In a world where roles are reversing, where the West is in financial crisis and the East is home to ever more powerful creditors, it’s easy to get caught up in the concept of declinism. We have, some suggest, reached a tipping point in international history — one that is unavoidable and impossible to reverse.
But it’s not, perhaps, as straightforward that. The notion of West versus East, of developed versus undeveloped, is increasingly naive. It’s that lack of clear-cut distinction that makes an intellectual discussion of the subject so interesting and important.
In this, the first of the alumni weekend podcasts we will feature over the coming months, Lord Patten of Barnes asks whether the West has had it. Drawing on his experiences as an Oxonian, politician, diplomat, and Chair of the BBC Trust, he offers a unique insight into what is simultaneously a vital and provocative question. It makes for essential listening.