Policy Papers

Why Thames Water is Top of Sue Gray’s Risk Register

The pollution of the Thames is not a new phenomenon. For much of the twenieth century it was tolerated so long as London's tap water was adequate. Privatisation clearly did not provide the solution. But John Davis argues that Thames Water's current financial difficulties may offer an opportunity for the government to take decisive action.

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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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Opinion Articles

Mobilising the Environmental Humanities

In March 2024, History and Policy hosted a workshop on Environmental Humanities which brought together academics, policymakers and practitioners and was organised as part of a British Academy funded project led by Henry Irving of Leeds Beckett University. Reporting on the findings of the workshop, Andrew McTominey argues that at a time when the political world seems unwilling or unable to respond sufficiently rapidly to the climate crisis, Environmental History can help to open up some urgent and difficult conversations.

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“Prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs”: More questions for TNA on FOI and Reclosure.

Earlier this year, Alison McClean and Andrew Lownie used separate History & Policy opinion articles to raise concerns about the reclosure of files in the National Archives (TNA). In this update of the situation, Alison suggests that the TNA has been unwilling to engage with its critics and notes a worrying trend to remove from the online catalogue the titles and descriptions of reclosed files, making it difficult to trace what has been removed from public access.

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Colloquium in Honour of Simon Szreter

On Friday 7 June, St John’s College, Cambridge hosted a special colloquium entitled ‘Health and Wealth: debating demography, gender, politics, welfare and policy’ to mark the retirement of one of History & Policy’s co-founders, Professor Simon Szreter.

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Sewerage: Trouble downstream

Midway through the 2024 general election campaign, the BBC has released the results of an investigation suggesting that the water companies may have illegally discharged sewerage into rivers and the sea on 6000 occasions in 2022. Whoever wins the election, this is likely to remain a significant focus of public concern. Might Joseph Chamerlain's record as Mayor of Birmingham in the 1870s provide clues as to how to address the problem of Britain's crumbling infrastructure?

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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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