Sir Anthony Seldon examined how history has often been marginalised from the policy-making process, and how some of the poorest decisions in Whitehall have been informed by historical illiteracy. He looked at the reasons why recordkeeping, institutional memory and evaluation of historical precedent have all been in decline, and attempted to answer the question – if history matters, how can it have practical value and not just remain an academic subject?
Speaker: Sir Anthony Seldon (former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham)
Chair: Professor Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy, IHR)
On the 21 March 202, History & Policy hosted a special online seminar on Russian foreign policy towards Ukraine in a historical perspective. Experts from across the world will considered some of the following questions:
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Histories commissioned by government, either for general publication or for purely internal use, have long been seen as an important means of capturing ‘institutional memory’ and learning from the past. Yet as the Chief Historian of the FCDO, Patrick Salmon notes in a recent open-access monograph (see below), professional historians have sometimes viewed the genre with considerable scepticism. This round table discussion examines the nature of official, authorised and internal histories from the perspectives of those who have been involved in producing and using them within Whitehall, and of historians who have written about them. The issues it seeks to explore include:
The session was chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, Director of History & Policy
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.
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.
Professor Claire Langhamer (Director of the Institute of Historical Research)
Chair: Professor Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study)
Chair: Sarah Veale (CBE, former Head of Equality and Employment Rights at the TUC)
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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.