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, 249 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 email@example.com.
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.
Gordon Lynch and a group of historians from across the world reflect on their roles in Inquiries into non-recent child abuse, and the tensions that can exist between historical research and the other purposes Inquiries serve
Historically the prison system was designed with male prisoners in mind. A landmark enquiry in 1919 laid down the first recommendations for addressing the needs of pregnant women in prison. A century on, the basic requirement that all babies and pregnant women should receive consistent high quality care remains unmet in many ways.
Ben Jarman explores the history of child welfare in the youth justice system to show that overall culture is as important as specific safeguards - a modern emphasis on policy compliance may come at the expense of questioning policy effectiveness.
The age of sexual consent - 16 years - has remained since 1885 despite concerns today regarding child sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy. Dr Victoria Bates warns against drawing direct comparisons with this 130-year-old law to promote or resist change to the age of consent.
Until the 1970s British press coverage of child sexual abuse was ‘scanty, timid and evasive’. This failure to treat abuse as a serious problem has changed. But according to Dr Adrian Bingham, of Sheffield University, elements of this earlier journalistic culture remain today.
Across the twentieth century, poor coordination among social workers, welfare charities and doctors meant that most child sexual abuse was undetected. When cases did come to light, the response was often inadequate. While the situation has changed, Dr Lucy Delap argues that some past practices and beliefs remain, risking child safety today.
Why were the courts and police so slow to act on child sexual abuse? Dr Louise Jackson, of the University of Edinburgh, reviews the twentieth century criminal justice system in England and Wales.
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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.