Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Political Quarterly Annual Lecture


Recent Italian Politics in Historical Perspective


We were delighted that Paul Ginsborg took the Political Quarterly annual lecture on Tuesday 25 November 2014, 6.00 - 8.00 pm at the Institute for Government. The lecture, entitled 'Recent Italian politics in historical perspective' can be viewed here.

By whatever measuring rod one cares to adopt – economic, political, cultural – the Italian Republic has undoubtedly been in increasing difficulty since the early 1990s. The long dominion of Silvio Berlusconi in Italian politics has been only one, albeit highly significant, expression of a general decline, which has been accelerated by the global crisis from 2008 onwards. Faced with this situation, many distinguished commentators, both internal and external, have expressed doom-laden sentiments about Italy’s destiny. It is difficult to disagree with much of what they say, but I would like to urge caution. The Italian Republic – references to a second or third Republic seem to me to be rather spurious – has shown a remarkable capacity to survive. To explain why this is so, I intend to adopt a predominantly historical perspective, concentrating on three areas of enquiry: Italy’s cultural specificity as a Catholic and Mediterranean country; the perennial role of strong families acting as buffers against crises of varying dimensions; and the long-term European performance of Italy in relation to what Edward Thompson once called ‘the great arch of bourgeois revolution’. The picture that emerges is neither comforting nor cataclysmic.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Putting Neoliberalism in its Place

Neoliberalism is not as popular as its opponents seem so much to fear; in democratic politics it nearly always hides behind other ideologies and policy types, as its essential message that we should pursue no goals that cannot be achieved through the market is intrinsically unattractive to the majority of people. Its power lies in the wealth of its key supporters, and in the difficulty of raising coordinated opposition to it among post-industrial populations that have little sense of their political interests. The main base for hope of change in this comes from the as yet unrealised potential of women’s movements. You can read Colin Crouch's full article for free here.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bernard Crick Prize

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Bernard Crick Prize for the best article in the Political Quarterly for 2013. The winner is Deborah Mabbett and you can read her article The Second Time as Tragedy? Welfare Reform under Thatcher and the Coalition for free here until the end of June.

Deborah received her award from Tony Wright at the Orwell Prize 2014 on 21 May 2014.



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.