Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The PQ Crick Prize for Best Piece

Deborah Mabbett and Nick O'Brien
At the Orwell Awards last night, Nick O'Brien was awarded the Crick Prize for Best Piece 2018 by co-editor Deborah Mabbett. His article entitled 'Administrative Justice in the Wake of I, Daniel Blake' was the overwhelming judges' choice who write "This article is a quintessential PQ piece. It starts from I, Daniel Blake and its depiction of the inhumanity of the benefits system and finishes with Grenfell Tower. It considers Daniel Blake’s testimony daubed on the wall of the job centre, claiming the right to be treated as a citizen and not as a client, a customer, a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar or a thief, and uses it to build an argument about how administrative justice might be reformed and citizenship reimagined to make it possible.

As the article notes administrative justice has been neglected compared with the other main branches of justice – criminal, civil and family – and starved of resources and research, but it is at least as important. Nick O’Brien reviews the history of administrative justice, from the Attlee Government and the extremely pertinent reflections of W.H. Morris Jones in his 1949 Fabian pamphlet Socialism and Bureaucracy to Richard Crossman’s Socialism and the New Despotism in 1956 and the interest in the Scandinavian experience of Ombud institutions, such as the Danish Ombudsman, championed by Peter Shore and Andrew Shonfield among others in the 1960s, and which led to the creation of the UK’s first Ombudsman. The article then shows how the Ombudsman initiative was diluted and changed into something less radical (a familiar story), so that much of the work of the current Parliamentary Ombudsman and Health Service Ombudsman is devoted to ‘service’ complaints about the NHS. The article concludes with an illuminating discussion about how the system of administrative justice might be reformed to achieve the vision of W.H.Morris Jones and rebuild trust between citizens and government, citing Danielle Allen’s idea of an Aristotelian ‘political friendship’ where law is a practice in which every citizen may be involved through deliberation, legislation or enforcement. O’Brien challenges the pessimism of those like David Goodhart, who argue that a limit must be placed on diversity if a society is to remain cohesive. If the institutional architecture is put in place to create a connected society much higher levels of diversity are possible."

You can read O'Brien's article here.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Britain Beyond Brexit edited by Gavin Kelly and Nick Pearce

Brexit represents a critical juncture in British politics. In this new collection edited by Gavin Kelly and Nick Pearce, leading economists, political scientists, historians and public policy experts analyse what the Brexit decision might mean for Britain’s economy, society and politics. Anticipating the challenges of the 2020s, the authors explore how Britain might change in the aftermath of the current Brexit storm. The contributions analyse: the future of the British economic model; migration and the labour market; the UK’s constitution and political parties; the politics of housing; the challenge of generational conflict; tax and public spending; the prospects for the City; and the future of UK trade. It is essential reading for anyone interested in how today’s Brexit decision will shape the future of the country.

You can read the introduction of Britain Beyond Brexit here.

1. Introduction: Brexit and the Future of the British Model of Democratic Capitalism
GAVIN KELLY and NICK PEARCE
2. The British Model and the Brexit Shock: Plus ├ža Change?
DUNCAN WELDON
3. Brexit and the Future of Trade
SWATI DHINGRA
4. The City and Financial Services: Historical Perspectives on the Brexit Debate
CATHERINE SCHENK
5. Macroeconomic Policy Beyond Brexit
SIMON WREN-LEWIS
6. The Prospects for the UK Labour Market in the Post-Brexit Era
PAUL GREGG and STEPHEN CLARKE
7. Dual Disruptions: Brexit and Technology
DIANE COYLE
8. Brexit and the Future of the UK’s Unbalanced Economic Geography
ANDREW CARTER and PAUL SWINNEY
9. Can a Post-Brexit UK Grow a Knowledge-Based Economy that Works for Everyone?
GEOFF MULGAN
10. Tax and Spending in the 2020s
GEMMA TETLOW
11. Brexit and the Politics of Housing in Britain
BEN ANSELL and DAVID ADLER
12. Energy Supply and Decarbonisation Beyond Brexit: Politics and Policy
MATTHEW LOCKWOOD and ANTONY FROGGATT
13. My Generation, Baby: The Politics of Age in Brexit Britain
TORSTEN BELL and LAURA GARDINER
14. British Culture Wars? Brexit and the Future Politics of Immigration and Ethnic Diversity
MARIA SOBOLEWSKA and ROB FORD
15. The Divergent Dynamics of Cities and Towns: Geographical Polarisation and Brexit
WILL JENNINGS and GERRY STOKER
16. Brexit and the Nations
MICHAEL KEATING
17. The Realignment of British Politics in the Wake of Brexit
ANDREW GAMBLE
18. Brexit and the Future of UK Capitalism
MARTIN SANDBU