Associated Publications



Revisiting Associative DemocracyRevisiting Associative Democracy

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

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,, the JRSST Charitable Trust, and Coin St Community Builders. A transcript of the conference is also available.


What's Wrong with the British Constitution, Iain McLeanWhat's Wrong with the British Constitution?

Iain McLean

OUP, 2009. Place an order.

In this provocative new study, Iain McLean argues that the traditional story of the British constitution does not make sense. It purports to be both positive and normative: that is, to describe both how people actually behave and how they ought to behave. In fact, it fails to do either; it is not a correct description and it has no persuasive force. The book goes on to offer a reasoned alternative.


After the Crash - re-inventing the left in Britain

Edited by Richard S. Grayson and Jonathan Rutherford

Stuart White has an essay in a new collection examining the future of progressive politics in Britain, drawing on diverse perspectives from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the civic nationalist parties. (Read more...)


What Next for Labour? Ideas for the progressive left

Authors: Peter Harrington, Beatrice Karol Burks, with contribution from Stuart White. Now available through Demos

In the wake of Labour's worst poll results in three generations on 4 June 2009, Demos asked some the left's leading thinkers to offer their diagnosis of the party and prescribe what it needs to do to revive itself. Their reponses, collected in this book, are unanimous on the need for urgent renewal. But they differ widely on what shape that renewal should take. The essays also propose a wide range of policies and reforms - to tackle inequality, reform the constitution and above all to radically open up both politics and the party. These policies represent the values they believe should lie at the foundation of the progressive Labour movement.

Options for a New Britain
Edited by Varun Uberoi, Adam Coutts, Iain McLean and David Halpern is now available through amazon or Palgrave

It was launched in March 2009 at a highly successful even in Whitehall addressed by, among others, Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for energy and Climate Change, and David Willetts, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills [Varun or Sarah - pls check these job titles]. It is a follow-up to the original Options for Britain edited by David Halpern, Stuart White, Stewart Wood and the late Gavin Cameron. The original Options was heavily used by ministers, civil servants, and policy advisors under New Labour. We hope that the new book will be as useful to whichever party forms the next UK government.


Building a Citizen Society:
The Emerging Politics of Republican Democracy
Edited by Stuart White and Daniel Leighton
Lawrence and Wishart, 2008

In the recent renaissance of classical republicanism, one of the main challenges is to elaborate its implications for how democracies should be organized and orientated. This volume addresses that challenge and is a major contribution to neorepublican democratic theory. (Read more...)


How to Defend Inheritance Tax
Rajiv Prabhakar, Karen Rowlingson and Stuart White
Fabian ideas 623. In association with the TUC; ISBN 978 0 7163 06238; £6.95

Inheritance tax is under attack, and not just from the political right. The critics of this tax have dominated the debate over recent years but, as the authors of this Fabian pamphlet argue, inheritance tax is one of the best tools we have for tackling inequality and kick starting Britain’s stalled social mobility. (Read more...)

Why do Liberal Democrats Oppose the Child Trust Fund?
Stuart White
Public Policy Research 14 (1), 24-30 [doi:10.1111/j.1744-540X.2007.00460.x]

The Liberal Democrats have long argued for the abolition of the Child Trust Fund – Labour's prize initiative. Stuart argues that their opposition is not only misplaced, but contradicts their own values and historical commitments. (Read more...)

Adam Smith, Radical and EgalitarianAdam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian
Iain McLean
Edinburgh University Press, 30 June 2006

This book aims to show that Adam Smith (1723-90), the author of The Wealth of Nations, was not the promoter of ruthless laissez-faire capitalism that is still frequently depicted. Smith's "right-wing" reputation was sealed after his death when it was not safe to claim that an author may have influenced the French revolutionaries. (Read more...)

The Citizen's StakeThe Citizen's Stake: Exploring the Future of Universal Asset Policies
Will Paxton, Stuart White and Dominic Maxwell
Bristol, Policy Press, 11 January 2006

Can and should asset-based policies such as universal capital grants become a new pillar of the welfare state? Can they form the basis for a more egalitarian form of market economy? The citizen's stake throws open the debate by bringing together the ideas of leading thinkers in academia and policy to explore the future scope of asset-based policies in Britain. (Read more...)

Applying the Dismal ScienceApplying the Dismal Science: When Economists give Advice to Governments
Iain McLean and Colin Jennings
Palgrave, December 2005

In this collection, Iain McLean and Colin Jennings bring together some of the most eminent social scientists to have advised British governments since 1964. Successive chapters show what went wrong in UK economic policy making in the 1960s and 1970s, what goes better now, and what still goes wrong. (Read more...)

Time For Land Value Tax?
Edited by Dominic Maxwell and Anthony Vigor; contributors include Iain McLean, John Muellbauer, Richard Brooks and Karl Widerquist
ippr, 2 December 2005

Time for Land Value Tax? brings together leading economists and political theorists to explore the case for and against land value taxation. (Read more...)

The State of the UnionState of the Union
Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan
Oxford University Press, September, 2005

Winner of the Political Studies Association's W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize for the best book published in political science in 2005

This is the first survey of Unionism, the ideology of most of the rulers of the United Kingdom for the last 300 years. Because it was taken so much for granted, it has never been properly studied. Now that we stand in the twilight of Unionism, it is possible to see it as it casts its long shadow over British and imperial history since 1707. (Read more...)

The Fiscal Crisis of the United KingdomThe Fiscal Crisis of the United Kingdom
Iain McLean
Published by Palgrave, April, 2005

The system for allocating public expenditure to the nations and regions of the UK has broken down. Money goes to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by the notorious Barnett formula, but this is collapsing and cannot last long. People in every region think that the system is unfair to them. The Fiscal Crisis of the United Kingdom suggests how the system could be fixed. (Read more...)


  • Iain McLean and Benjamin Linsley, The Church of England and the State: Reforming establishment for a multi-faith Britain. Published by New Politics Network in 2004. It is out of print but you can download an electronic copy for free.
  • Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan, New Localism, New Finance. Published by NLGN in 2003. Place an order.

  • Stuart White and Will Paxton, Assets and Progressive Welfare. Published by ippr in 2001. Place an order.