Authority in crisis

The BBC, has struggled to deal with post-Savile rumour and innuendo; the British parliament, stumbling from one scandal to the next, is routinely treated with scepticism and cynicism; even the police, as their uncertain response to the 2011 riots demonstrated, are seemingly wracked by self-doubt. But is this crisis of authority, and of trust, really such a bad thing? Or is there another problem here? Does it also implicate the freedom and autonomy of the individual itself? Has regulation – the solution often proposed to the widespread mistrust of authority – exacerbated the problem? In this keynote controversy filmed at the Battle of Ideas Frank Furedi presents his new book Authority: a sociological history to two respondents and the audience, who then examine the issues. The speakers are: Professor Frank Furedi; Toby Mundy; Elizabeth Oldfield and the chair is Dr Tim Black.