The Italian and American crises in the early autumn of 2013 may seem grotesque to observers, but in many ways they are merely extreme instances of how it has become more difficult in democratic countries to provide for what political scientists used to call ‘the aggregation of interests’. There is now a less widespread belief that your interests will be taken into account, and this has given rise to a greater willingness to risk harm to the political system by your insistence that they be given priority. One consequence is to make it even more important than it previously was that reform of institutions is not undertaken in an ill-informed or complacent way. Unlikely though it might seem at first glance, there are lessons to be learnt by British political reformers from the events in Rome and Washington.
You can read the entire article by Alan Ware here.
As you might imagine, the PQ archive has many, many fascinating and poignant articles and
choosing just a handful for this collection was not easy. We are pleased we
have been able to include articles written by Kingsley Martin, Leonard Woolf,
William Robson, Barbara Wootton, Barbara Ward, Harold Laski, GDH Cole , RHS
Crossman, John Parker, DN Pritt, Tom Harrisson, DW Brogan, A Creech Jones and ‘Politicus’, touching on themes such as
how the war was to be paid for; the colonies during the war; what was to happen
to Germany after the war; the situation of women; France; the Italian and
German Alliance; and the Ministry of Information.
We do hope you find this collection interesting and useful
and that you will enjoy reading these frank and insightful articles from this
era. You can see the collection here.
In the latest issue of the Political Quarterly, Gus O'Donnell lays out his plans for better government.
"My aim here is to propose some of the key reforms that I believe would lead to better government. As you would expect given my work championing the use of wellbeing as the objective of policy, better government for me is a government that enhances wellbeing. But I also believe that better processes also matter, so we need to worry about the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ of government achievements."
The Political Quarterly is seeking a new co-editor to work with Tony Wright and to replace Michael Jacobs who has resigned to take up a position as Senior Adviser to the French institute IDDRI ( l’Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales) to work with the French Government on the preparation of the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
We are looking for an editor who complements Tony Wright’s skills and interests in political institutions, British parliamentary politics and political ideas. We are particularly interested in applicants with expertise in political economy and in substantive policy areas such as welfare state reform, regulation and /or environmental or other major policy issues. She/ he must be committed to the ideals and aims of the journal as set out below.
The deadline is 15 November 2013. Applicants should supply a CV and a letter of application that explains what substantive contribution of interests and expertise they can offer PQ and sets out their views about the directions they would like PQ to take in terms of content, relationship to other journals, impact and relationships to academic publishing.
Applicants should contact Emma Anderson at both for further information about the journal and to set up discussion with the editors or board members.
Editor Role Description
The Political Quarterly was founded in 1930 and has a distinct mission – to bridge the academic world and the world of public policy. It is not run as an academic journal, and the first requirement of an editor is the ability to understand and continue the PQ tradition. There is no system of academic refereeing for PQ, because it is not intended as an academic journal in that sense. This gives the editors greater freedom, but also greater responsibility. The main criterion for selecting articles is that they should have something to say about issues of political importance, and are able to say it in plain English without jargon.
The main tasks of the Editor include:
1. Assessing articles that are submitted for publication. There is a steady stream of articles that are submitted to the journal. Some of these are inappropriate for PQ and are best directed elsewhere, others need suggestions for editing and improvement before they are ready for publication. There are a number of people who write regularly for the Journal, although there is no obligation for the Editors to accept whatever they submit. All articles submitted are read by both editors, and both must agree before an article is accepted for publication.
2. Commissioning articles for publication. This is probably the most important part of the editorial role. The Editor has to be prepared to use his or her networks and contacts and those of Editorial Board members to commission articles on subjects that have topical political interest, as well as those judged to have lasting significance. Particularly valuable are speeches delivered by politicians and other public figures, for which after some light editing PQ is often a natural home. The Editors can also decide to have themed issues, a number of articles on a connected theme which make up part of one issue.
3. Commissioning special issues. There is one special issue every year, and the task of the Editors with the assistance of the Board is to identify firstly a topic and secondly an editor or editors for that issue.
4. Liaising with the Chair of the Editorial Board over the general running of the journal and the approval of expenditure.
5. Liaising with the Editorial Board. The Editors have a great deal of discretion, but they are appointed by the Editorial Board and are accountable to it. They give oral reports to the Editorial Board at its AGM.
6. Liaising with Co-Editors. The tradition of PQ is for there to be two Editors, who must both agree before an article can be accepted for publication. There is also a Literary Editor, two Reports and Surveys Editors who commission book reviews and reports for the Journal, and an Events Editor. Together with the Assistant Editors these form the Editorial team which meets regularly to plan issues.
7. Liaising with the Assistant Editors. Establishing effective ways of working and quick response times are vital to the smooth running of the journal.
8. Attendance at PQ meetings. These include meetings of the Editorial Board, normally two a year, and meetings of the editorial team, up to four a year.
9. Helping to select the winner of the prize for the best PQ article.
10. Promoting wider PQ activities and marketing. This involves attending PQ sponsored events – seminars, workshops, conferences, as well as the annual Orwell Prize, for which PQ is one of the major sponsors, and at which the best PQ article prize is announced. Having an awareness of marketing opportunities and liaison with the editorial office and Wiley.
Terms of office
Editors receive an honorarium and provision is made for their expenses to be covered. The appointment is initially for five years and subject to the approval of the Political Quarterly Board. The workload depends on the individual, but should be around 20 to 25 days per year. The honorarium can be adjusted to compensate more days, but it is expected that the new Co-Editor will have paid employment that is compatible with the position.
Medical Sciences Building, University College London UCL, Thursday 30 January, 2014, 5.30 pm. You can register here.
The Political Quarterly, in conjunction with the department of Politics at UCL and The Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life at Birkbeck are hosting a public debate about Colin Crouch's new book Making Capitalism Fit for Society on 30 January 2014 at 5.30 pm in Bloomsbury.
In his book, Colin offers ways of challenging neo-liberalism. He argues that accepting capitalism need not mean we have to accept the full neo-liberal agenda of unfettered markets and absent social provision. He offers instead a vision of a more assertive social democracy with a range of policy options. The book builds on the ideas that Colin has been developing and advocating since his Post Democracy (2004). It has attracted considerable attention in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia where its proposals are being debated across the political left. We think that the debate should be brought to the UK.
Panellists are: David Coen (UCL), Helen Thompson (Cambridge), Andrew Gamble (Cambridge), Virginie Guiraudon (Sciences Po) and chair Tony Wright (Birkbeck and UCL).
For more information about the event please contact Emma Anderson and register here.
For the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this year, we published a special issue featuring four articles on One Nation. The articles were written by Stewart Wood, Tim Bale, Amarjit Lahel and John Gaffney, and Mark Wickham Jones. These articles will appear in the forthcoming issue 84 3, due out soon. You can read them here: Introduction - Reflections on One Nation Labour by Michael Jacobs
Asato (PPC, Norwich North – Chair), Jackie Ashley (Columnist, The
Guardian), John Denham MP, Michael Jacobs (Political Quarterly), Marcus Roberts
(Deputy General Secretary, Fabian Society) will be discussing the main issue of
We will be handing out free copies of the One Nation
collection appearing in our next issue due out soon, with articles from Stewart Wood, Mark
Wickham-Jones, John Gaffney and Amarjit Lahel and Tim Bale.