David Miliband delivers 2019 Fulbright Legacy Lectures

David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former foreign secretary, delivers this year's Fulbright Legacy Lecture: 'The New “Arrogance of Power”: Global Politics in an Age of Impunity' at the University of Edinburgh, King's College London and Pembroke College, Oxford.

Miliband examines one of the major shifts in international relations today, away from checks and balances on the use of power, and towards what he describes as an “Age of Impunity”.

The lecture’s title is a nod to Senator Fulbright’s 1966 speech on ‘The Arrogance of Power’ (a thesis he subsequently expanded upon in a book of the same name). In the lecture, Miliband draws upon some of the Senator’s work to shine a light on the challenges we face today.

He explains how the rules-based international order forged after World War II is being undermined, and suggests how the multilateralist promise embodied by Senator Fulbright can be redeemed.

Remarking upon Senator Fulbright’s legacy and his contributions to furthering international understanding, Miliband said:

“The Fulbright Scholarships are a living memorial to a remarkable, far-sighted American, who combined deep patriotism with serious internationalism. As a Brit living and working in America, I truly appreciate the insight of the Scholarships that we need to expose and explain the two countries to each other.

Penny Egan, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said:

“David Miliband studied in the US as a Kennedy Scholar at MIT, so he understands perfectly the value of an intercultural education. His career is arguably the product of the same international opportunities that Senator Fulbright so presciently persuaded the US Senate to fund when he set up the Fulbright programme in 1948. David’s text is an urgent call to preserve a world order that respects the rule of law and protects the vulnerable.”

Full text available here. You can view a video of the lecture on the University of Edinburgh website.


Since 2011, the US-UK Fulbright Commission has worked with the three universities to curate the Fulbright Legacy Lecture Series, with support from the Lois Roth Endowment and the Fulbright Association. The annual lecture series features a prominent speaker in international relations, presenting on contemporary issues and themes in international life. 


Miliband delivered the first lecture of the series at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Miliband delivered the first lecture of the series at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.

Credit: Douglas Robertson.