The early 21st century has presented considerable challenges to the problem-solving capacity of the contemporary state in the industrialised world. Among the many uncertainties, anxieties and tensions, it is, however, the cumulative challenge of fiscal austerity, demographic developments, and climate change that presents the key test for contemporary states. This book considers the state of governance in the current period […]
The language of war has been increasingly deployed across a whole spectrum of ecological, social and economic problems: war on terror; war on warming; war on want; war on bankers’ bonuses; war on drugs; war on waste; war on genocidal leaders. Peter Lee examines climate change, military intervention and financial collapse to reveal how truth is used by competing […]
The piecemeal, ad hoc approach to devolution is creating serious constitutional difficulties beyond Scotland. A more systematic view, considering the UK as a whole, is required. In this article, Alan Trench sets out the recommendations of a new report aimed at just that.
The impact of the Scottish independence referendum has been wide-ranging. It raises a number of questions about how […]
In this article, Sam Sims argues that the Department for Education’s new performance ranking of local authorities and academy chains is effectively meaningless and therefore not very useful. Rather than repeating the mistakes of past efforts to identify effective education providers, we should focus on evaluating policies.
In March the Department for Education (DfE) released a working paper called Measuring the […]
How well are GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups equipped to handle contracts with private providers of NHS clinical services? In this article, Colin Leys finds that the case for outsourcing clinical work to private providers continues to lack evidential support, and that there should be an independent enquiry into the capacity of CCGs to handle major new contracts before they are allowed to be […]
In this post, Ruth Dixon argues that, in future elections, measures of party leader satisfaction are worth looking at in more detail, as standard voting intention polls led many forecasters astray in 2015.
As the plot below makes clear, satisfaction with party leaders of the two main parties would have predicted the outcome of the last nine UK general elections, […]
The myth of ‘self-government’ is threatening both the UK’s place in the EU and Scotland’s place in the Union
The UK government is expected to publish a draft bill on 28 May outlining a framework for the country’s referendum on EU membership. Andrew Glencross writes that UK politics is now increasingly defined by two different kinds of ‘exceptionalism’: a push within the UK for self-government outside of the EU, and Scottish demands for self-government within the UK. He argues […]
Labour is in a difficult situation as it looks to elect a new leader. It desperately needs the big, militant unions to back off and not taint their next leader by treating him or her as their puppet. To the unions, on the other hand, it’s vital that they not allow the next Labour leader to ignore their concerns, writes […]