Policy Papers

History & Policy papers are written by expert historians, based on peer-reviewed research. They offer historical insights into current policy issues ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change and internet surveillance to family dynamics, alcohol consumption and health reforms. For historians interested in submitting a paper, please see the editorial guidelines.

Currently, 212 papers are freely searchable by theme, author or keyword, with new papers published regularly. Where possible, we publish papers to coincide with relevant policy developments. If you are a policy maker, civil society practitioner or journalist and would like to contact one of our historians, please contact historyandpolicy@kcl.ac.uk.

You can download H&P policy papers directly from the Apple iBooks store to your iPhone, iPad or Mac. We also have an Amazon Kindle version to download to your PC for transfer to your Kindle via USB cable. Please consult your Kindle manual for further details.


The real lessons of the Blitz for Covid-19

A roundtable of experts in the UK's emergency civil defence response during the Second World War explores lessons for the current crisis.

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The ‘rough sex’ defence: lessons from history

A recent high profile case highlights the controversial history of defences for murder, says Adrian Williamson

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Normalising bottle return and reuse: lessons from the Victorians on the limits of voluntary schemes

Parliament is examining proposals for voluntary bottle return schemes to reduce packaging waste - but Tom Licence says voluntary schemes have been tried before, and government intervention is needed

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The BBC World Service and Global Britain

Gordon Johnston shows that the BBC World Service's reputation has historically rested on independence from government - a critical point as funding arrangements come under review

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The reservoirs that weren’t: lessons for contemporary infrastructure planning

Victorian infrastructure development is lionised today, but this interdisciplinary case study of early-twentieth century Leeds shows that the problems faced by modern projects are nothing new

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Holocaust education and contemporary anti-semitism

Holocaust education is presented as a key means of combatting anti-semitism. Larissa Allwork shows in four case studies that it may not be effective in its current form.

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The charitable status of elite schools: the origins of a national scandal

Professor Roy Lowe examines how 1,300 independent schools in Britain came to provide tax-subsidised education to the elite - freed from oversight by nineteenth-century compromises.

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Historical content matters: a response to the critical thinking skills agenda

Academic historical scholarship feeds down into every day history, and shapes our "common sense", making a huge contribution to social, economic and political outcomes in all areas.

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Escaping the Thucydides Trap in political commentary

Thucydides is often confidently invoked as a source of timeless political principles – in reality, his narrative explores the complex, unpredictable nature of events, and the power of rhetoric

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‘The last milestone’ on the journey to full adult suffrage? 50 years of debates about the voting age

Adrian Bingham reflects on the potential impacts of granting 'Votes at 16' on the British uncertain political landscape: do sixteen year-olds have the democratic capacity (or inclination) to make informed decisions, or is this part of a wider debate about the definition of citizenship in Britain?

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About Us


H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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