Policy Papers

Planning for the Bicentenary of the Abolition of Slavery and African Emancipation in 2033-38

As we approach the bicentenary of slavery’s abolition and African emancipation (2033-2038), crucial questions are surfacing concerning how the emergence of archival evidence and new research findings can be incorporated effectively into national and local memorialisation. Dr Michael D. Bennet and Dr James S. Dawkins argue for the creation of an independent historical advisory panel to help ensure that memorialisation across Britain avoids repeating the shortfalls of previous efforts at remembrance and facilitates a more linked-up programme of memorialisation between Britain and Caribbean nations.

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Asylum Barges in historical context: Britain’s prison hulks expose fault lines in today’s policy

As part of the Home Office policy of housing asylum-seekers on barges, the first 15 refugees boarded the Bibby Stockholm on 7 August 2023. The initiative invites a number of comparisons with the use of prison hulks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These historical echoes suggest that the current policy may be less cheap, popular and temporary than the government seems to assume.

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Opinion Articles

Policy at the mercy of fear: Déjà vu and the open prisons

Absconds from prison are at a historic low. The prison system in England and Wales does not offer an ‘open prison’ sentence, but individuals may be transferred to one of the 12 open prisons as part of their preparation for release. Since its inception, the open prison has been at the mercy of capricious policy. This tension is still apparent today. Events in 2022 led to the Justice Secretary imposing stricter transfer criteria; since then, the policy has been abandoned.

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The Complicated History of Remembrance

Recent controversies over whether protest is permissible on ‘Remembrance Weekend’ have rested on an oversimplified view of Remembrance as an unchanging, sacralised and outside politics. In fact the commemoration of war in twentieth and twenty first century Britian has continuously evolved, subtly and sometimes unsubtly influenced by contemporary politics. The continued relevance of Remembrance can only be ensured by such adaptation, and is threatened by heavy-handed attempts to impose a unitary meaning.

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New Report on British Health Policy

One of the founders of History & Policy, Professor Virginia Berridge, has co-edited a new report on the history of British health policy.

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History & Policy submission to the Office for National Statistics consultation on the future of the Census

Might the 2021 UK Census be the last of its kind? Yes, if current proposals from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) are implemented. History & Policy have made a submission to the consulation exercise about these plans raising serious concerns about their wisdom.

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No. 10 Guest Historian Series

H&P is working in partnership with the Prime Minister's Office and the National Archives to help revitalise the history content of the new History of Government Blog website.

H&P commissions and edits the No. 10 Guest Historian series, written by expert historians from the H&P network, as well as creating lively new biographies of previous Prime Ministers.

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About Us

H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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