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

The history and future of televised election debates in Britain

Ahead of tonight's BBC 1 Question Time Leaders' special, Professor Jon Lawrence suggests the frequency and significance of leaders' debates are bringing Britain closer to a US model of head-to-head presidential showdowns.

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Saving Private Sunak? Politics and Remembrance in 1995 and 2024

Rishi Sunak's mishandling of the 80th anniversary of D-Day commemorations brings to mind his predecessor, John Major's, far more assured negotiation of the probllem of having to be absent from the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday 1995. More broadly both incidents illustrate the imporance of the symbolic in politics and the growing significance over the previous three dacades of the memory of the two World Wars as a focus for British national identity.

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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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Launch of the Labour Party Manifesto

Today, 13 June, the Labour Party publishes its manifesto for the 2024 general election. It has been pressed on how it aims to avoid public spending cuts without significantly raising taxes. Its standard answer is that it will do so by boosting economic growth. Yet research published recently by History & Policy raises questions about such claims.

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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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