Seminars and briefings

H&P co-organises seminars and publishes briefings on issues of concern to policy makers. This has included regular seminars in Whitehall on history relevant to the Coalition Government's 'Big Society' agenda and with the Department for Education on policy for children, families and young people. If you work in a policy organisation and would like to discuss how historians could contribute to what you do, please contact us.

  • HMT series, 2013-14
  • HMT series, 2013-14

    H&P collaborates with Her Majesty's Treasury (HMT) to consider the history of issues relevant to the department today, particularly those with fiscal and economic implications. The current series, 2013-14, explores long-term policy issues, such as the nuclear deterrent, ageing, energy and the policy-making process itself.

    Britain's nuclear deterrent in the Cold War era
    18 September 2013

    • David James Gill, University of Nottingham, Wilson and the Bomb
    • Matthew Jones, LSE,The UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent in the Cold War: Chevaline

    Please note, these presentations are not available for copyright reasons.

    Policy making in the "golden age"
    10 October 2013

    • Hugh Pemberton, University of Bristol, The treasury in the early-1960s: the great reappraisal presentation text [pdf, 266kb]
    • Peter J Beck, Kingston University, The Treasury Historical Section presentation text [pdf, 176kb]

    Ageing in historical and comparative perspective
    11 December 2013

    • Professor Pat Thane, King's College London, Ageing and old age in history: what has changed? presentation slides [pdf, 5mb] and presentation text [pdf, 123kb]
    • Dr Mayumi Hayashi, King's College London, Care for an ageing population: lessons from Japan? presentation slides [pdf, 791kb]

    Children and young people: seminar series with the Department for Education

    H&P collaborates with the children and young people directorate at the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver regular, policy-relevant seminars. These events are supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The series was initiated by the Director of policy for children and young people, and historian of Mass Observation, Tom Jeffery, to:

    • help those developing new and innovative approaches to policy learn from, rather than ignore, the past, and
    • increase the Department's understanding of the long term historical background to current polices and policy questions in children's, young people's and family services.

    Commenting on the value of these events, DfE Chief Research Officer Richard Bartholomew said: "We trust history & Policy to provide sound information and advice that informs the way we think about current policy issues."

    You can now access presentations made by members of the H&P Network at DfE in 2012-13 and 2011-12 below. You may also be interested in H&P's policy papers about families and children and education.

    Department for Education series 2 (2012-13)

    Children's social work: Mike Burt, John Stewart
    30 April 2013

    • Mike Burt, University of Chester, Social work with children, 1948-1991: presentation slides [pdf, 488kb]
    • John Stewart, Glasgow Caledonian University, British social work: from the Second World War to the Seebohm report (1968): presentation slides [pdf, 296kb]

    Age, rights and responsibility: Hugh Cunningham, Colin Heywood
    29 January 2013

    • Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent, Childhood in the life course: presentation slides [pdf, 371kb]
    • Colin Heywood, University of Nottingham, The emergence of a protected childhood: presentation slides [pdf, 501kb]

    History of polices for children with emotional or behavioural difficulties: Bonnie Evans, Matt Smith
    10 January 2012

    • Bonnie Evans, King's College London, The rise of autism in an educational context: presentation slides [pdf, 788kb]
    • Matt Smith, University of Strathclyde, When psychiatric theory meets education - the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): presentation slides [pdf, 1.2mb]

    Disability, learning difficulty and education, historical perspectives on policy and practice: Anne Borsay, Mark Jackson
    26 November 2012

    • Anne Borsay, Swansea University, Disabled children and special education, 1945-1981: presentation slides [pdf, 420kb] and presentation text [pdf 222kb]
    • Mark Jackson, University of Exeter, Care or control? Segregating children with disabilities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: presentation slides [pdf, 100kb]. Mark Jackson was unable to present at DfE due to transport problems, but his presentation is included here for reference.

    Histories of adoption: Jenny Keating, Pat Thane
    11 October 2012

    • Jenny Keating, Institute of Historical Research, Adoption in England and Wales - the twentieth century: presentation slides [pdf, 1.2mb]
    • Pat Thane, King's College London, Adoption in 20th century England and Wales: presentation slides [pdf, 337kb]

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    Department for Education series 1 (2011-12)

    Young people... yesterday: Andrew Davies, Selina Todd
    January 2012

    • Andrew Davies, University of Liverpool, Historical perspectives on youth, gangs and violence: presentation slides [pdf, 396kb]
    • Selina Todd, St Hilda's College, Oxford, Employment, education and aspiration - youth participation, 1918-2011: presentation slides [pdf, 173kb]

    A history of the family and family policy: Pat Thane, John Welshman
    November 2011

    Histories of childhood: Hugh Cunningham, Maria Luddy, Mathew Thomson
    October 2011

    • Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent, A right to childhood?: presentation text [pdf, 53kb] and presentation slides [pdf, 330kb]
    • Mathew Thomson, University of Warwick, Child rights, wellbeing and the balance between freedom and protection in postwar Britain: presentation text [pdf, 136kb]

    Early days in early years: John Stewart, Pat Thane, Mathew Thomson
    October 2011

    • John Stewart, Glasgow Caledonian University, 'The dangerous age of childhood': child guidance in Britain, c.1918-1955: presentation text [pdf, 171kb]
    • Pat Thane, King's College London, The history of early years child care: presentation text [pdf, 112kb]
    • Mathew Thomson, University of Warwick, Bowlbyism and the postwar settlement: presentation text [pdf, 136kb]

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    The evolution of sport policy since 1945: talk at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

    Kevin Jefferys
    February 2012

    When did government sport policy get off the mark in Britain? In a talk at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, historian Kevin Jefferys of Plymouth University revealed it was as late as 1966, when Harold Wilson held the football World Cup aloft and became the first Prime Minister to tap into the electoral significance of sport. Professor Jefferys explored the contrasts between London's 1948 'austerity Olympics', when the government had little role in funding or organising the games, and its extensive involvement in preparing for London 2012.

    click here to download a copy of his talk [pdf, 101kb].

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    History of money, barter and alternative currencies: what lessons does history offer? Seminar with the Efficiency and Reform Group and Cabinet Office

    Nicholas Mayhew, Craig Muldrew and Mark Roodhouse
    November 2011

    As part of an ongoing series of policy-relevant seminars co-organised with the Cabinet Office and Efficiency and Reform Group, H&P convened a trio of historians to explore the nature of money and process of monetisation; the changing role of credit and the role of trust; and alternative forms and spheres of exchange. The seminar took place on 7 November and presentations from it can be found below.

    Alcohol research in history: presentation at the launch of Alcohol Research UK

    Virginia Berridge
    October 2011

    H&P partner Virginia Berridge was invited to speak at the launch of Alcohol Research UK, a new charity dedicated to research into the causes of excessive drinking and how it can be prevented. You can read her presentation on their website.

    See also:

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    'Big Society' seminar: Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office

    Kate Bradley, Jose Harris, Matthew Hilton, John Mohan, Simon Szreter, Pat Thane, Karl Wilding
    June 2010

    H&P was invited by the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit to convene a group of expert historians to inform their work on the government's 'Big Society' agenda. The seminar took place on 15 June and explored changes in the relationship between the state and the voluntary sector and in people's engagement with civic society. Papers from this meeting are available below, along with links to other useful resources.

    See also:

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    The normalisation of binge-drinking? An historical and cross cultural investigation with implications for action

    Virginia Berridge, Betsy Thom and Rachel Herring
    September 2007

    History & Policy co-founder Virginia Berridge and colleagues carried out a historical and cross-cultural investigation of binge-drinking [pdf, 570KB]. Their findings are published on the Alcohol Education Research Council website.

    See also:

    History Matters? History's role in health policymaking

    Virginia Berridge
    June 2007

    History & Policy funded research by Virginia Berridge of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to explore the way in which history and historians are currently involved in health policymaking. This report reveals how health policymakers rely on historical clichés and NHS 'folk histories' to interpret the past and inform the present. Professor Berridge concluded that historians must do more to communicate their work to policy audiences. Read the report [pdf, 201KB].

    See also:

    Equalities in Great Britain, 1946-2006

    Edited by Pat Thane
    March 2007

    This report was published as part of the Equalities Review, which was commissioned by the Prime Minister and chaired by Trevor Phillips. The report was written by a team led by Pat Thane at the Centre for Contemporary British History. Read the report [pdf, 836KB] here.

    See also: Pat Thane's article 'A nicer country than Attlee's Britain, but not as nice as we could be' [pdf, 30KB], originally published in Parliamentary Brief magazine.

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