Whippersnapper Events: A talk by Martin Cox, Director of the John Locke Institute

Martin Cox speaking to an audience of Whippersnapper writers

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A special Whippersnapper event


Last week, Martin Cox, Director of the John Locke Institute, generously agreed to give some of the writers and friends of Whippersnapper an insightful talk that blended the disciplines of economics, politics, political philosophy and social theory at the East India Club, London.

He focused mainly on the “Public Choice” theory developed by Nobel-laureate economist James M. Buchanan, giving us an insight into its criticisms of democracy, government and its application in public policy. Its main hypothesis contrasts the popular view of democracy being a reliable mechanism for promoting the “common good”, arguing that democracy is fundamentally biased towards certain “sub-optimal” outcomes. These ideas provoked considerable discussion and debate.

Prior to running the John Locke Institute, Mr Cox was an economics lecturer at the University of Oxford. Earlier in his career he was chief executive of ICC Australia and a member of the worldwide governing body of the International Chamber of Commerce. This role involved influencing economic policy through public speeches, op-ed newspaper articles, and private meetings with Prime Ministers and other senior leaders in business and government.

Named after one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers’, the John Locke Institute is an organisation that offers educational programmes for intelligent young students in both Oxford, for autumn/winter programmes, and France for its flagship summer school.
Mr Cox gave us an illustration of the unique educational experience provided by the summer school, telling us last year how they discussed the game theory involved in the WWII D-Day landings on those exact beaches. Subjects are taught by present and past Oxbridge tutors in set modules over a course of weeks, of which more information can be found on their website.

Whippersnapper greatly thanks Mr Martin Cox for this opportunity.

About Che Applewhaite
Che Applewhaite is the Editor-in-Chief of Whippersnapper. He is a 18-year-old student who is passionate about understanding the issues today that he thinks will affect the future, primarily changes in international relations, feminism and global warming. His musical tastes are defined by a deep appreciation of jazz, minimalism, house and rap, though by no means are limited to those genres. He can often be found in a museum or bookshop on a weekend.