Video


Think Tanks and the Value of History: A Transatlantic Perspective

This online round table discussion organised by History & Policy at the Institute of Historical Research brings together experts from both sides of the Atlantic to consider the value of history to policy-makers and think tanks. Taking as its starting point the policy paper ‘Historians and Think Tanks: Lessons from the U.S. Marketplace of Ideas’ it will compare the ways in which think tanks in Europe and the USA draw on historical experience and expertise, and consider the extent to which a knowledge of History really is an asset for policy-makers. The discussion will examine whether and how the knowledge of academic historians could be utilised more effectively by government and consider the potential for greater transatlantic collaboration in this area. 

Confirmed speakers:
 

  • James G. McGann is Director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program and a Senior Fellow at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McGann has served as a consultant and advisor to the World Bank; the United Nations; the Asian Development Bank; the United States Agency for International Development; the Soros, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Hewlett and Gates foundation.
  • Catherine Haddon is the Institute for Government’s principal historian and leads the Institute’s work on changes of government, ministers and the workings of the constitution. She also leads the Institute’s professional development programme for ministers and opposition parties.
  • Calder Walton is Assistant Director of the Belfer Center's Applied History Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. Calder's research is broadly concerned with intelligence history, grand strategy, and international relations. His research has a particular focus on policy-relevant historical lessons for governments and intelligence communities today.
  • Gill Bennett (Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). She was chief historian of the Foreign Office from 1995-2005, and senior editor of its official history of British foreign policy, Documents on British Policy Overseas.)
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Recovering from the Pandemic - A workshop on The Future for Employment and Skills

On the 27th October 2021 History & Policy hosted an online event: Recovering from the Pandemic - A workshop on The Future for Employment and Skills. The workshop was organised by the History and Policy Trade Union and Employment Forum, a group of senior trades unionists and academics, and is sponsored by History & Policy at the Institute for Historical Research. 

As we chart our way out of the current crisis what are the lessons of history? How can we build a fairer and stronger economy better able to withstand future shocks, not least from climate change? How can we overcome labour shortages and ensure that everyone has the chance to gain the skills we need? How can we help those hardest hit by the pandemic: women, the low paid and unskilled? We hear from the General Secretary of the UK’s largest Trade Union, from a leading historian, from an expert on Labour Law, from a leading Employer representative, from the TUC and from the Labour Party shadow minister for FE and skills.

Introduction 
Professor Claire Langhamer (Director of the Institute of Historical Research)

SESSION 1
Chair: Professor Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study)

  • Christina McAnea (General Secretary of Unison)
  • David Edgerton (Professor of Modern British History, Kings College London)
  • Toby Perkins (Shadow Minister for Further Education and Skills) 

SESSION 2
Chair: Sarah Veale (CBE, former Head of Equality and Employment Rights at the TUC)

  • Vicky Philips (Head of Employment Rights, Thompsons Solicitors)
  • Janet Williamson (Senior Policy Officer, Economic and Social Affairs Dept, TUC) 
  • Neil Carberry (Chief Executive, Recruitment and Employment Confederation)

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

History & Policy at the Institute of Historical Research was delighted to host a webinar to mark the launch of the new book,  After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future, by Hilary Cooper (former government economist and senior policy maker), and Simon Szreter (Professor of History and Public Policy at Cambridge University and co-founder and editor of History & Policy). 


Why was the UK so unprepared for the pandemic, suffering one of the highest death rates and worst economic contractions of the major world economies in 2020? Hilary Cooper and Simon Szreter reveal the deep roots of our vulnerability and set out a powerful manifesto for change post-COVID-19. They argue that our commitment to a flawed neoliberal model and the associated disinvestment in our social fabric left the UK dangerously exposed and unable to mount an effective response, with particularly devastating consequences for deprived communities and elderly patients in care homes.

In the face of the coming century’s urgent problems, from climate change to biodiversity collapse and global inequality, the authors put the case for the vital role that history should play in enabling us to think differently – about the future economy, our future society, how we govern ourselves and who we want to be. Drawing on the history of British collectivist individualism, beginning with the Elizabethan Poor Laws, they argue that a strong and nurturing welfare state has facilitated the most successful periods of economic and social flourishing in our history; and a revival and adaptation of its principles can help us again in the twenty-first century. 

At this virtual event Hilary Cooper and Simon Szreter discuss the ideas in their book, which was followed by a Q&A facilitated by Professor Philip Murphy.

After the Virus: Lessons from the Past for a Better Future is published by Cambridge University Press in paperback and as an e-book. 

Get 20% off when you purchase this book – visit www.cambridge.org/afterthevirus and enter discount code ‘COOPER21’ at the checkout. Discount expires 30th July 2022.
 

Hilary Cooper is a former government economist and senior policy maker with expertise in labour markets, children’s services and local development. Her current freelance work examines the challenges of ageing. She was the joint winner of the 2019 IPPR Economics prize for the essay Incentivising an Ethical Economics, with Simon Szreter and Ben Szreter.

Simon Szreter is Professor of History and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, researching economic, social and public health history. His publications include Health and Wealth, which won the American Public Health Association’s Viseltear Prize, and Sex before the Sexual Revolution, longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. He is co-founder and editor of History & Policy.

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A Champion of dignity at work: the TUC in the Citrine era

On Monday 13th September 2021, the History & Policy Trade Union & Employment Forum hosted an online seminar on instances of TUC and union promotion of dignity at work seen through the lens of Walter Citrine’s career as General Secretary and President of the International Federation of Trade Unions from the 1920s to the 1950s.   

Speakers:

  • Jim Moher (Author-Walter Citrine, Forgotten Statesman of the Trades Union Congress)
  • Mary Bousted (Joint General Secretary National Education Union and TUC General Council member )
  • Tom Wilson (Former Senior TUC Officer)
  • Philip Murphy (Director, History & Policy)
  • Gail Cartmail (President TUC & Assistant General Secretary, Unite)
  • Paul Nowak (Deputy General Secretary, TUC)

You can catch up on the launch event event of Dr Jim Moher's book- Walter Citrine: Forgotten Statesman of the Trades Union Congress. Jim is a former national trade union official and now historian.

Image Credit: Walter Citrine (1st left, front row) with a group of the TUC General Council members attending the 1943 Trade Union Congress held in Southport. The President of the 1943 congress was Dame Anne Loughlin. Blackpool Gazette & Herald Ltd-TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University.


Walter Citrine: Forgotten Statesman of the Trades Union Congress: Book Launch

ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH

Recorded on 24 March 2021

The History & Policy Trade Union & Employment Forum is launching an important new biography of this former giant of the Labour movement - Walter Citrine: Forgotten Statesman of the Trades Union Congress. The author, Dr Jim Moher, a former national trade union official and now historian, will be launching it in conjunction with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London and his colleagues in the History and Policy Trade Union & Employment Forum.

Lord John Monks, a distinguished former General Secretary of the TUC (and European TUC), who has a Foreword in the book, will interview Jim about Citrine. This will be followed by questions and a general discussion with full audience participation.


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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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