Policy Papers

How to Remember the Victims of Covid-19: Experiences of the First World War

The British government’s response to the memorialisation of mass death in the twentieth century was fraught with challenges which have parallels with the debates surrounding the remembrance of Covid-19. Here, the First World War and its aftermath are used as a case study to show how the exclusion of certain groups from memorial activities in the past have had substantial long-term implications for their cultural inclusion in memorial events in the present. Through an examination of memorial items sent by the government directly to families of people who were killed at war, this paper recommends a careful approach to mass memorialisation which is empathetic to the individually bereaved and inclusive of the diverse experiences of grief. 

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‘Creative Repurposing’ and Levelling Up: History, Heritage and Urban Renewal

Creative repurposing has been presented as a cornerstone of the government’s agenda for regional development and the regeneration of towns and small cities across the UK. Yet there remains some uncertainty about what it really means, both in theory and practice. This paper presents case studies of three English locations (Barking & Dagenham, Coventry, Sunderland) which explore that meaning and point to the opportunities and challenges involved. It argues that the practice of ‘creative repurposing’ should be understood to incorporate intangible heritage such as local histories, traditions, and sense of place, as well as the built environment, and has greater potential when these aspects are combined.

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Opinion Articles

Is ‘Social Value 2032’ assured? Possible lessons from angry Edwardian shopkeepers for the Social Value Act’s future

2022 saw the 10th anniversary of the Public Services Act (sometimes referred to as the Social Value Act) which obliged public authorities to consider how they might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of an area when awarding contracts. While the objective of enshrining 'social value' in law is commendable, the early twentieth-century experience of the British Co-operative Movement (the Co-op), which also sought to promote broader social benefits, suggests that the project might create unintended consequences including a politicised movement of opposition.

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‘Very brave, Minister’, Sir Humphrey Appleby

Commentators were drawing comparisons with the 1972 dash for growth even before Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng stood up to deliver his ‘fiscal event’ on 23 September. In March 1972 his Conservative predecessor Anthony Barber injected an estimated 2 per cent of additional demand into the economy, primarily by raising income tax thresholds. History has not been kind to the Heath/Barber boom.

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History & Policy Author Gives Evidence in Parliament

Dr Niamh Gallagher has provided oral evidence to the House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

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After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future

A recording of the book launch After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future by by Hilary Cooper and Simon Szreter now available.

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The Autumn 2022 Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective

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New Labour’s employment policy (1997 to 2010): lessons for the future of work

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No. 10 Guest Historian Series

H&P is working in partnership with the Prime Minister's Office and the National Archives to help revitalise the history content of the new History of Government Blog website.

H&P commissions and edits the No. 10 Guest Historian series, written by expert historians from the H&P network, as well as creating lively new biographies of previous Prime Ministers.

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About Us

H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

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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