Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Latest issue of the Political Quarterly is out now!

We are delighted that issue 85 1 of the Political Quarterly is now out and every article in this issue is free to view. We have two articles on Italy from Alan Ware and Chris Bickerton, a reply to Gus O’Donnell’s article in issue 84 4 from Craig Berry and Richard Berry, Stewart Lansley’s piece on Britain’s wages crisis, David Lipsey’s intriguing article entitled the Meretriciousness of Meritocracy, three reports and surveys pieces on Civil Service reform and much more!


You can read the articles for free here.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Tony Benn

Following the passing of Tony Benn last week, we have made one of his classic articles available to read. His 1979 piece 'Democracy in the Age of Science' can be read here.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Peter Hennessy in Conversation with Tony Wright

Peter Hennessy and Tony Wright met on 20 February 2014, conversing about Peter’s many interests and offered an opportunity to hear from someone with a unique place in the study of the recent history of British politics and society.

Professor Peter Hennessy (Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield) is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University and a crossbench member of the House of Lords. He is the leading historian of post-1945 Britain, especially its politics and politicians, which he writes (and speaks) about in a vivid and witty way. His many books and his journalism offer trenchant analysis of the British constitution and the ‘hidden wiring’ of government, including the secret state and the bomb.

Professor Tony Wright is Professorial Fellow in Politics at Birkbeck College and Professor of Politics at UCL. MP for Cannock Chase from 1992 to 2010, he chaired the Reform of the House of Commons Committee (publishing the report ‘Rebuilding the House’ in 2009). He chaired the Public Administration Committee of the House of Commons from 1999 to 2010. He has been co-editor of Political Quarterly since 1995.

You can hear the conversation here

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Colin Crouch Making Capitalism Fit for Society

On 30 January 2014 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 hosted a public debate about Colin Crouch's new book Making Capitalism Fit for Society. 

Panellists were: David Coen (UCL), Helen Thompson (Cambridge), Andrew Gamble (Cambridge), and chair Tony Wright (Birkbeck and UCL). You can see the videocasts here.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Appointment of Deborah Mabbett as Co-editor of The Political Quarterly

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed a new co-editor of the Political Quarterly to replace Michael Jacobs. Deborah Mabbett is Professor of Public Policy, Department of Politics, Birkbeck and she writes and researches on a wide range of issues related to welfare and inequality, from macroeconomic policy to anti-discrimination policy. She teaches public policy and public management at Birkbeck and has a D.Phil in Economics from Oxford. Deborah will be the first woman co-editor of the journal.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Coalition, the Davies Commission and the Wicked Issue of Airport Expansion

Photo Mark Winterbourne
Once again, the possibility of a third runway at Heathrow is back on the policy agenda in what appears to be the endgame of a creeping policy reversal by the Coalition. Ambushed by a sustained campaign in favour of aviation expansion, many commentators interpreted the Davies Commission to be an attempt by the government to defer its need to make a decision until after the 2015 election. But the announcement of the Commission’s interim conclusions has surely thrust airport expansion squarely into the political arena once more, thus reactivating antagonisms and cleavages over the future of the industry. This renewed politicization of the issue should be seen in the context of the failure of New Labour to forge a broad societal consensus about the future of aviation in the face of a skilful anti-expansion campaign, which connected the issues of airport expansion, the aviation industry and climate change in a heady mix. It also suggests that the return of a technocratic style of politics led by an expert commission might not be enough to resolve what has become a ‘wicked issue’ for all parties and governments.

Steve Griggs and David Howarth

You can read the full article here.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Berlusconi, Boehner and the Brink: Lessons for Political Reform in Britain

Alan Ware
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.