Author Archives: aveekbhattacharya

Why I am not a Liberal

Sam Bowman has written a good piece arguing that many people who self-identify as ‘centrists’ are actually liberals, and as such should more assertively defend liberal values. At a time when ideological labels are regularly thrown around in a loose and confused manner, it is refreshing to see someone draw the political dividing lines so […]

VAR and Virtue

Rebecca Lowe has written a piece arguing against the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR – additional referees who monitor football matches on video, and intervene if they believe the lead referee has made an error) in this year’s World Cup. She claims that the reform undermines sportsmanship by reducing players’ freedom to choose not […]

The Case Against Education: Review

I’ve written a review of Bryan Caplan’s book The Case Against Education for the LSE Review of Books. You can read it here: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2018/05/30/book-review-the-case-against-education-why-the-education-system-is-a-waste-of-time-and-money-by-bryan-caplan/

Is supporting a football team irrational?

Anyone who has really, passionately followed a sports team must at some point wondered whether it is worth it: all the heartbreak, disappointment and frustration. Take Arsenal Fan TV: does it look like a bunch of people having a good time, or just making themselves miserable for no good reason? A fascinating new paper by […]

Do tabloid newspapers undermine social trust?

Trust might be one of the most valuable assets a society can have. David Halpern of the Behavioural Insights Team summarises the evidence that: Levels of social trust, averaged across a country, predict national economic growth as powerfully as financial and physical capital, and more powerfully than skill levels – over which every government in […]

Does international sport defang nationalism?

David Papineau has written a piece arguing that international sporting events like the ongoing Winter Olympics can encourage “a better kind of nationalism”. In his view, “international sport can’t help but boost understanding and counteract chauvinism”. This, he claims, is because all sporting contests imply recognition of the other side as moral equals. It presupposes […]

On the ‘moral’ objection to a basic income: are humans ‘hard wired’ to work?

The Conservative MP Nick Boles generated some headlines before Christmas for his denunciation of a universal basic income: the increasingly fashionable proposal that all citizens should receive a fixed cash benefit from the government. His argument is fairly glib (I have to wonder if he genuinely believes he’s satisfactorily dealt with the issue in just […]