Policy Papers

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, 242 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 historyandpolicy@london.ac.uk.

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.


Coalition policy towards the NHS: past contexts and current trajectories

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England’s early ‘Big Society’: parish welfare under old Poor Law

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The Victorian information age: nineteenth century answers to today’s information policy questions?

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How to talk about redistribution: a historical perspective

Ben Jackson's paper shows how politicians can talk about economic redistribution without scaring voters, by drawing on the speeches of progressive leaders of the past.

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A necessary complexity: history and public-management reform

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Aberfan: no end of a lesson

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The Child Support Agency and the Old Poor Law

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The ‘scandal’ of women’s pensions in Britain: how did it come about?

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Politics and pensions in post-war Britain

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Health and Wealth

From a human health perspective the process of rapid economic growth needs to be understood as a profoundly disruptive and uncertain process. Public health information is essential for controlling the most challenging aspects, but is so often lacking in poor countries. Another key to managing health and environmental problems created by economic and demographic growth is strong representative and resourced local government and civic society, incentivised but not simply directed to act by the central state. History also shows that to be effective, policies require strategies for time horizons of at least 20-30 years, not 5-year electoral cycles.

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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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