What we do

H&P publishes high-quality historical research freely accessible online and creates opportunities for historians, policy makers and journalists to connect and learn from each other.

H&P is non-partisan and welcomes contributions from historians of all periods based on their peer-reviewed research. The views expressed in H&P publications are those of the authors concerned.

Support for History & Policy

Values Statement:

History & Policy is a non-profit network hosted by the Institute of Historical Research of over 500 academic historians committed to promoting better public policy through a greater understanding of history. Founded in 2002, H&P has a long track record of publishing high-quality historical research in free and accessible formats online, as well as providing a forum in which historians, policymakers and journalists can come together and learn from each other. While members of the network have their own personal views and affiliations, History & Policy is strictly non-partisan. These are the core values that underpin H&P’s work:


Engagement: stimulating public policy with a broad range of historical insights.


Rigour: adhering to the highest professional standards in the quality of our work.


Independence: free of political or commercial pressures.


Innovation: innovative uses of communications technology since our foundation.


Optimism: convinced that good ideas and open dialogue can improve society.



'Working in BBC News and Current Affairs, I know that historical perspective can greatly improve the quality of debate on contemporary issues and policy formation. But it can be hard for many people outside the academic community to reach the latest research in an accessible form. History & Policy is one of the very few initiatives I have come across that bridges that gap in an effective way.'
Chris Bowlby, BBC Radio 4 Current Affairs

'Everyone in public life should be aware of the History & Policy project and its activities, and make use of this unique resource. History has a huge amount to teach us about how we got to where we are and how we might move forward. The historians involved in History & Policy have demonstrated this particularly effectively in relation to pensions reform.'
Frank Field MP

'The Parliament and Constitution Centre of the House of Commons Library has enjoyed working with History & Policy in locating speakers who can offer a historical perspective to contemporary events, and so inform the political process.'
Oonagh Gay, Parliament and Constitution Centre

'I have found the History & Policy papers to be both enjoyable and very useful, especially those on local government reform and policing, which are areas I work in. I strongly believe that policymakers would perform better if their thinking was more informed by history and am keen that the IPPR does so in its own research.'
Guy Lodge, Institute for Public Policy Research

'If politicians would only browse here, historians hope, they might learn from what has gone before and stop reinventing so many square wheels. They would boast less about 'new' ideas and their own 'successes' compared with the past.'
Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

'Awareness of what went before is of considerable worth, and there's a growing sense that policymakers and public managers make decisions in ignorance of previous experience with the same subject matter. History & Policy is a grouping of professional historians coordinated from the Centre for Contemporary British History in the University of London, determined to remind the present that the administrative and policy past matters.'
David Walker, Guardian Public magazine


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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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