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Ever since the advent of machinery, work has been associated with wage labour. Machinery brought promise of both higher wages and redundancy. What do economics and history tell us about the fate of these promises? With the spread of automation the dialectic between work and redundancy may be reaching a point of resolution. What form will it take? Will we see the total or partial replacement of human by machine labour? Or will there be new hybrid forms of work which combine work and leisure? What would be the policy implications of different work futures.
Lord Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His three volume biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes (1983, 1992, 2000) received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for International Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. He is the author of The World After Communism (1995) (American edition called The Road from Serfdom). He was made a life peer in 1991, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1994. He is chairman of the Govenors of Brighton College.
Since 2003, he has been a non-executive director of the mutual fund manager, Rusnano Capital; from 2003-2011 he was a non-executive director of Janus Capital; and from 2008-10 he sat on the board of Sistema JSC. He is a director of the Moscow School of Political Studies and was the founder and executive secretary of the UK/Russia Round Table. Since 2002, he has been chairman of the Centre for Global Studies. In 2010, he joined the Advisory Board of the Institute of New Economic Thinking.
Skidelsky writes a monthly column for Project Syndicate, “Against the Current”, which is syndicated in newspapers all over the world. His account of the current economic crisis, Keynes: The Return of the Master, was published by Penguin Allen Lane in September 2009. A short history of twentieth-century Britain was published by Random House in the volume A World by Itself: A History of the British Isles edited by Jonathan Clark in January 2010. In June 2012 How Much is Enough? Money and the Good Life was published, which was co-written with his son Edward Skidelsky.
Patočka Memorial Lecture
Since its foundation in 1982, the IWM has promoted the work of Czech philosopher and human rights activist Jan Patočka (1907–1977). Since 1987, the Institute regularly organizes lectures in his memory, a selection of which has been published in German by Passagen Verlag, Vienna.