Past PPU News Items

Stuart White discusses Economic Liberty with the new journal 'Juncture'

Stuart White discusses 'How Equal Should Economic Liberty Be' with the new Institute for Public Policy Research journal, Juncture.

In Juncture, the new journal by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Stuart White discusses John Tomasi’s notion of ‘free market fairness’. 

View Stuart's blog and related video.

Posted: 30/05/2012

Transcript and e-book following 'Revisiting Associative Democracy' conference

The Public Policy Unit has collaborated with a range of other organizations to produce a new e-book, Revisiting Associative Democracy. Edited by Andrea Westall, the e-book is free to download at http://lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/AssociativeDemocracy.html

The e-book takes as its focus the work of the political theorist, Paul Hirst, who argued for an associative democracy based on: greater democracy and localism in the UK state; a devolution of welfare provision to civil society associations but with the state retaining its role as chief financer of provision; and greater mutuality, co-operativism and industrial democracy in the economy.

Contributors include Anthony Barnett, Rosemary Bechler, Ian Christie, Maurice Glasman, Su Maddock, Samantha Mauger, Jonathan Michie, Graham Smith, Penny Shepherd, Andrea Westall, and Stuart White. They discuss Hirst's ideas and use the discussion to engage critically with today's debates over the so-called 'Big Society', 'mutualism' and the role of the state.

The book is based on a conference on associative democracy supported by the Public Policy Unit, openDemocracy.net, the JRSST Charitable Trust, and Coin St Community Builders. A transcript of the conference is also available.

Posted: 20/01/2011

Professor Iain McLean discusses electoral reform

Iain McLean has written an article for The Independent, entitled “Electoral reform: The battle for fairer votes begins here”, in which he highlights and offers his views on some of the key issues of electoral reform.

Iain McLean has written an article for The Independent, entitled “Electoral reform: The battle for fairer votes begins here”, in which he highlights and offers his views on some of the key issues of electoral reform.


Professor McLean is also mentioned in Peter Henley’s blog at BBC News Online in reference to the study that Professor McLean and others have produced for the British Academy, which examines the various trade-offs between different voting systems.

Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College.

Posted: 11/05/2010

Iain McLean co-authors ‘Choosing an Electoral System’ & discusses elections in the press

Professor Iain McLean is one of three authors of a British Academy research report, Choosing an Electoral System, launched by the Academy’s new Policy centre in March 2009.  Please see further details and download the report.

Professor Iain McLean is one of three authors of a British Academy research report, Choosing an Electoral System, launched by the Academy’s new Policy centre in March 2009.  Please see further details and download the report.


An interview with Iain on Reuters TV at 13.00, 29 April 2010 can be heard here

Iain is also one of the signatories to a letter to The Guardian on electoral systems: ‘We do not back a particular system, but set out what social scientists know about how different systems work and what are the choices and potential consequences. We also try to bust some myths…UK voters will continue to be assailed on all sides by politicians claiming that one system is the best. Check them against the independent evidence first.’

The Guardian, p. 39, 28/04/10 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/28/put-electoral-reform-in-proportion

Iain has also contributed to BBC Mundo, discussing the role of the press in influencing the outcome of the election:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/internacional/2010/04/100428_reino_unido_elecciones_prensa.shtml

Iain also wrote an article for The Guardian’s Comment is Free, on reforming the electoral system: ‘Turnout is lower in safe Labour seats; the Conservatives leach more votes to the Liberal Democrats in crucial places than Labour does. There is a fix to this, which I offer with my compliments to Messrs Cameron, Grieve and Pickles: introduce proportional representation for the House of Commons. Only that will eliminate the anti-Conservative bias of the present system.’

Professor Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College.

Posted: 06/05/2010

Iain McLean co-authors 'Choosing an Electoral System' and discusses forthcoming elections in the press

Iain McLean has published several articles on the Electoral System and the upcoming elections. 

Professor Iain McLean is one of three authors of a British Academy research report, Choosing an Electoral System, launched by the Academy’s new Policy centre in March 2009.  Please see further details and download the report at:

http://www.britac.ac.uk/news/news.cfm/newsid/20

 

An interview with Iain on Reuters TV at 13.00, 29 April 2010 can be heard here.

http://insider.thomsonreuters.com/link.html?ctype=group_channel&chid=3&cid=95760&shareToken=MTk0NjBiNjAtNmFmOS0wMTJiLWRmOTctMDAxZjI5MGEwYzk2OjA1OTgyODEy%0ALTc2ZmQtNDFlYy1iNGNmLTMyMWU0ODIxMDU3Nw%3D%3D%0A&playerName=ReutersNews

 

Iain is also one of the signatories to a letter to The Guardian on electoral systems: ‘We do not back a particular system, but set out what social scientists know about how different systems work and what are the choices and potential consequences. We also try to bust some myths…UK voters will continue to be assailed on all sides by politicians claiming that one system is the best. Check them against the independent evidence first.’

The Guardian, p. 39, 28/04/10 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/28/put-electoral-reform-in-proportion

 

Iain has also contributed to BBC Mundo, discussing the role of the press in influencing the outcome of the election:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/internacional/2010/04/100428_reino_unido_elecciones_prensa.shtml

 

Iain also wrote an article for The Guardian’s Comment is Free, on reforming the electoral system: ‘Turnout is lower in safe Labour seats; the Conservatives leach more votes to the Liberal Democrats in crucial places than Labour does. There is a fix to this, which I offer with my compliments to Messrs Cameron, Grieve and Pickles: introduce proportional representation for the House of Commons. Only that will eliminate the anti-Conservative bias of the present system.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/02/scrap-tory-bring-pr-voting

 

Professor Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College.


Posted: 05/05/2010

'Defending the Child Trust Fund'

Stuart White will chair a meeting 'Defending the Child Trust Fund' on March 29, 18.30-20.00, Church House Conference Centre, London. 

Other speakers include Julian Le Grand (LSE), Carey Oppenheim (ippr) and David White (Children's Mutual). Further details can be found here: http://fabians.org.uk/events-news/defending-the-child-trust-fund

Posted: 29/03/2010

Podcast of Iain McLean's '1909 People's Budget' symposium lecture now online

The podcasts for Professor Iain McLean’s lecture at the 1909 People’s Budget symposium are now available for download.

If you would like to view the podcasts, they are available on http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/, under the Social Sciences Division.

Iain’s work, ‘Lloyd George and his Special Advisers and the Unionist Reaction to the Budget’, is available here.

Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College.

Posted: 25/01/2010

Professor Iain McLean appointed Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Reform Committee

Congratulations to Professor Iain McLean, who was appointed as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Reform Committee for their recent report on reform of the House of Commons. His role was to advise on methods of election of Chairs and members of Select Committees by the House (rather than the present practice of nomination by the Whips).

Congratulations to Professor Iain McLean, who was appointed as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Reform Committee for their recent report on reform of the House of Commons. His role was to advise on methods of election of Chairs and members of Select Committees by the House (rather than the present practice of nomination by the Whips).

He is currently undertaking similar work for the House of Commons Procedure Committee (on methods for the election of three Deputy Speakers by the House).

Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College

Posted: 30/11/2009

Professor Iain McLean to speak at seminar at HM Treasury

Professor Iain McLean will be speaking at a seminar at HM Treasury to mark the centenary of the 'People's Budget', 1909.

Professor Iain McLean will be speaking at a seminar at HM Treasury to mark the centenary of the 'People's Budget', 1909.


The seminar, to be held on 2 October, marks the centenary of the 1909 Budget, heralded by Chancellor Lloyd George and other Ministers as 'the People's Budget'. It was highly controversial and was intensively discussed in Cabinet for months, being voted down by the Lords in November 1909. This led directly to the Parliament Act 1911 and to the wider constitutional crisis of 1912-14.

The issues raised by the 1909 Budget are still extremely topical. They include:

        *       how to tax land and property

        *       the progressivity of income tax

        *       the incidence of excise duties

        *       how to pay for social protection and defence

 

The event will be chaired by Kenneth O Morgan, providing an overview of the historical/political context of 1909 and its impact and legacy. There will then be two round-table sessions. At the first, a panel of academics will discuss the contextual and historical issues. At the second, a panel of experts inside and outside government will discuss the contemporary policy issues.

Iain McLean will be speaking on Lloyd George and his special advisors and the Unionist reaction to the Budget, as part of the first panel. His talk will be recorded and uploaded to iTunes U as a podcast.

Please note that attendance at the event is by invitation only.

Iain McLean is Professor of Politics, Official Fellow, Nuffield College.

 

Posted: 01/10/2009

The Department has a big presence in the latest issue of the New Statesman

The latest issue of the New Statesman (7 September 2009) is themed around the emergence of a new wave of 'progressive' thinking in British politics.

The latest issue of the New Statesman (7 September 2009) is themed around the emergence of a new wave of 'progressive' thinking in British politics.


Department input:

Professor Gerald Cohen's article on the nature and relevance of the socialist ideal appears at:

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/09/camping-trip-others-community

 

Public Policy Unit input:

Dr Stuart White's two related articles on the new ideological map of UK progressive politics appear at:

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/09/society-guiding-progressive

and

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/09/perspectives-society-state

 

Posted: 04/09/2009

Stuart White contributes to a new publication on the future of the Labour Party

PPU Director Stuart White has an essay in an important collection of essays discussing the future of the Labour party published this week by the think-tank Demos

More information

 

Posted: 15/06/2009

PPU Seminar Cancelled for 5th June

The PPU seminar scheduled for 5th June has been postponed to 26th June.

This week's PPU seminar scheduled for Friday, June 5, has been cancelled. The event, with Phillip Blond of Demos talking on 'Why 'Progressive Conservatism' is Not an Oxymoron', has been rescheduled for Friday, June 26 (Friday of week 9).

Posted: 03/06/2009

Professor Iain McLean's Book Makes the Silver Screen

The new Russell Crowe movie, State of Play, showcases Professor Iain McLean's edited volume The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, 2nd ed.

Making it's film debut, Professor Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan's edited volume, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, 2nd ed., can been seen in a few early scenes atop Russell Crowe's character's desk.  Professor McLean says of the debut 'Russell Crowe was not up to date - the 3rd edition is now out.'

Several DPIR members contributed to the edition Crowe was reading, including:

  • Richard Coggins
  • Steve Fisher
  • Francisco Gonzalez
  • Andrew Hurrell
  • Yuen Foong Khong
  • Paul Martin
  • Berthold Rittberger
  • Petra Schleiter
  • Federico Varese
  • Stuart White
  • Steve Whitefield
  • Stewart Wood

 

Posted: 01/05/2009

Inheritance Tax Work Wins Prize

HOW TO DEFEND INHERITANCE TAX, by Rajiv Prabhakar, Karen Rowlingson and Stuart White (of the Public Policy Unit), has been awarded the Jenny Jager Prize for the best Fabian Society publication of 2008.

The Jenny Jeger Prize commemorates Jenny Jeger, Chair of the Fabian Society in 1984 and lifelong Fabian. The prize, which was first awarded in 2000, is given to the best title published by the Fabian Society in the preceding twelve months.

Posted: 05/12/2008

Liberal Democrats and the Child Trust Fund

PPU Director, Stuart White, writes in an essay for the Fabian Society on the Liberal Democrats plan to abolish the Child Trust Fund.

White argues that the plan contradicts liberal values, including the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg's, commitment to increase social mobility.

Further information: http://fabians.org.uk/debates/life-chances-and-equality/child-trust-funds

 

Posted: 20/08/2008

"How to Defend Inheritance Tax"

Stuart White on inheritance tax.

The Fabian Society is about to launch a new pamphlet, "How to Defend Inheritance Tax", written by Rajiv Prabhakar, Karen Rowlingson, and the Public Policy Unit's Stuart White. The pamphlet has already started to spark debate.

The authors have written articles in the pamphlet on The Independent's guest blog site and the New Statesman on-line. The pamphlet coincides with a letter to The Guardian, published on April 15, signed by a number of MPs, trade unionists and leading academics, including Oxford's David Miller and Iain McLean, calling for the defence of inheritance tax. This letter has produced a lively debate on the 'Comment is Free' site on The Guardian website. The political implications of the pamphlet were also discussed in an article in The Guardian on April 15, Labour MPS urge Brown to back levy on inheritance.Stuart White also spoke on BBC Radio Scotland's 'Scotland at Ten' on the pamphlet on April 15.

Polly Toynbee has an article on the pamphlet and the issues it raises in The Guardian, here.

Posted: 18/04/2008

Asset-based Welfare in Ireland

Stuart White at The Policy Institute, Trinity College, Dublin.

On March 28, Stuart White presented a paper at a seminar hosted by The Policy Institute, Trinity College, Dublin and the Combat Poverty Agency on 'Asset-based Welfare in Ireland? Lessons from the UK Child Trust Fund'.

Full details of the seminar can be found, here, on The Policy Institute's webpage. Stuart's presentation, 'What's the Point of (Something Like) the Child Trust Fund?' can also be found here.

Stuart White is Director of the Public Policy Unit. 

Posted: 31/03/2008

ASSET-BASED WELFARE: AN INSTRUMENT FOR LIBERAL GOALS?

PPU Director, Stuart White, speaks at a PPU and CentreForum co-hosted seminar.

On March 11, the Public Policy Unit co-hosted a seminar with CentreForum, the Liberal Democrat think-tank, on the topic of 'Asset-based welfare? An instrument for Liberal goals?'

The speakers were Rajiv Prabhakar (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Stuart White (PPU) and Danny Alexander MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Work and Pensions.

To date, the Liberal Democrats have been highly critical of government initiatives to develop 'asset-based welfare', pledging at the last general election to abolish the Child Trust Fund. However, there do seem to be some clear connections between Liberalism's historical and philosophical commitments and policy proposals associated with 'asset-based welfare'. Should the Liberal democrats develop their own asset-based welfare policy? If so, what should it look like?

A summary of the presentation given by Rajiv Prabhakar and Stuart White is available here.

A summary of the discussion at the seminar can be found here (.pdf).

Posted: 20/03/2008

Stuart White on Inheritance Tax

Stuart White quoted in BBC News Magazine.

Stuart White, Director of the Public Policy Unit, was quoted in the BBC News Magazine on Wednesday 30 January.

Following on from recent work and a PPU workshop on the issues surrounding inheritance tax, Stuart, an advocate of citizen's inheritance, supports moving the process of inheriting money away from families deciding who gets what, to redistribute wealth.

Stuart's remarks can be found here.

Posted: 31/01/2008

The Barnett Formula and public spending in the UK

Iain McLean has recently contributed to the Channel 4 News coverage of the Barnett Formula and the different levels of public spending between the devolved territories of the UK.

Iain's contributions to the Channel 4 News coverage can be found here and here.

Posted: 20/11/2007

Jack McConnell: Devolution in Practice - the first eight years

Jack McConnell, First Minister of Scotland (2001-07) and MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw will be speaking as part of the Unit's seminar series on UK Devolution on Friday 23 November.

Jack McConnell is a Maths graduate of Stirling University. He taught Maths for nine years and served on Stirling District Council before becoming General Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party in 1992. He managed the 1997 election success in Scotland and coordinated Labour's referendum campaign for the Scottish Parliament.

He was elected as MSP for Motherwell in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999. He served as Finance Minister and then Education Minister before becoming Scotland’s third First Minister in 2001. He was successful in the 2003 election and continued as First Minister until May 2007, a total of six years in all. His seminar to the Public Policy Unit is entitled Devolution in Practice: the first eight years. This is likely to be highly informative as there is no one better qualified to speak on this subject than Jack.

The seminar will take place on Friday 23 November at 12.45pm in the Manor Road Building, Oxford. For more information, please contact Matthew Tillotson.

Posted: 16/11/2007

Professor Iain McLean has been awarded funding for his ‘Options for Britain II’ project.

Professor Iain McLean has been awarded funding for his ‘Options for Britain II' project from the ESRC  and the Gatsby Foundation, as well as Nuffield College, the University's Fell Fund and the Department.

Professor Iain McLean has been awarded funding for his ‘Options for Britain II' project from the ESRC  and the Gatsby Foundation, as well as Nuffield College, the University's Fell Fund and the Department.

In 1995, a leading group of academics and policy experts came together to assess the key economic, social and constitutional policy options for Britain. The Conservative government had been in power for over 15 years, and thinkers on both left and right felt the need for an independent review of issues and options facing the UK. The project began with a three-day residential event at Nuffield College, with papers presented by leading academics, with two high profile discussants for each. Political representatives from both left (David Miliband) and right (David Willetts) were involved. Three further follow-up events were held, with extensive analysis and support provided by four Research Fellows. The conclusions were published as the acclaimed Options for Britain: a strategic policy review (Dartmouth, 1996).

A decade on, much of the analysis in Options has become accepted wisdom, and many of the policy proposals have become reality. But there is also a sense of déjà vu. The Labour government has been in power for over a decade. Governments always find it difficult to refresh themselves in power, as the legacy of their own decisions build up; and oppositions do not have the research capacity to do so. It is in these historical moments that outside thinking can have a decisive influence, helping to inform the public and key commentators, and to provide a source of ideas for incoming policy-makers to mine. Options for Britain II is planned to be that mine. It will conduct an overarching review of UK economic, social and constitutional policy, by marshalling the best expertise from across the academic and policy-research community. The methodological approach will run along similar lines to the previous Options for Britain project, updated for the current context. As in 1995, representatives from the political parties will be invited to participate. While academic rigour will be strictly maintained, the project timing and active involvement of the policy-making community will be aimed at maximising impact, with media involvement in key events to ensure wider coverage.

Posted: 17/10/2007

Adam Smith - Radical and Egalitarian

Iain McLean’s new book, Adam Smith - Radical and Egalitarian: an interpretation for the 21st Century was published by Edinburgh University Press on 30 June 2006. 

Proposing that Adam Smith (1723-90) belongs as much to the political Left as to the political Right Iain McLean’s new book, Adam Smith - Radical and Egalitarian: an interpretation for the 21st Century was published by Edinburgh University Press on 30 June 2006.

Details of the book can be found here.

Posted: 15/03/2007

Aberfan After Forty Years

Iain McLean was Project Director for research into the Aberfan Diaster funded by the British Academy and the ESRC.

The 40th anniversary of the disaster attracted extensive comment, with four TV documentaries and numerous mentions in the print media. On 21 October 1966, 144 people were killed at Aberfan, in South Wales, when a tip of colliery waste slid down the mountain and engulfed a school and houses. Iain’s latest working paper is now available to view online; please click here (pdf) for more details.

Posted: 15/03/2007

ESRC Academic Placement Fellowship awarded

Dr Dirk Haubrich, PPU Research Officer, has been awarded an ESRC Academic Placement Fellowship with the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit at the Cabinet Office. 

The fellowship, which is endowed with £ 34,000 and will commence in September 2006, allows for social science researchers to be seconded to a host department to undertake policy-relevant research. During his engagement, Dirk will be concerned with the functions, responsibilities and assessment of local government in England, as well as other policy domains (e.g., education, health) for which the unit's director requires his expertise. This appointment enlarges the excellent links that the PPU has already built up with the centre of UK government.

Please click here for the full story.

Posted: 15/03/2007

Rousing launch for PPU book

A book edited by Iain McLean and Colin Jennings, Applying the Dismal Science, made a big splash at its launch in London on 24 January 2006.

A book edited by Iain McLean and Colin Jennings, Applying the Dismal Science, made a big splash at its launch in London on 24 January 2006. Both editors were present, and Iain made a presentation to the crowded meeting, as did chapter contributor Sir Christopher Foster. The star attraction, Ed Balls MP, was unable to come because of a three-line whip but his chapter (and others) have attracted attention. Since then, Iain and Colin have been invited to present their findings to a two-day staff conference for economists at the UK’s Department for Trade and Industry. The book arose out of the summer 2004 Political Economy seminar series, sponsored by what is now the PPU.

Posted: 07/03/2007

Launch of new book

Iain McLean and Colin Jennings (Queens)’ new edited book, Applying the Dismal Science – when economists give advice to governments, is to be launched at a high-profile event hosted by ippr and Policy Exchange in London on January 24.

Posted: 07/03/2007

PPU Launch -- Geoff Mulgan (The Young Foundation)

The Public Policy Unit held an inaugural launch seminar on Friday 18 November in the Manor Road Building.

The Public Policy Unit held an inaugural launch seminar on Friday 18 November in the Manor Road Building. Geoff Mulgan of the Young Foundation presented a seminar entitled The Academic and the Policy-Maker. A transcript of Geoff’s speech is available here.

Posted: 07/03/2007