British Think-Tanks And The Climate Of Opinion by Andrew Denham

By Andrew Denham

Investigating imagine tanks on each side of the political divide, the writer defines those teams within the context of British politics, explores their impression at the weather of opinion, and calculates how powerful they've been in influencing govt usually and key coverage components particularly. imagine tanks have not often come less than the highlight and the writer deals a probing yet balanced assessment of a political phenomenon. This publication should still turn out to be worthwhile examining for college kids of political technology, public management and modern British historical past.

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It received favourable reviews from professional publications such as the British Medical Journal and The Lancet, and was welcomed in a statement issued by the British Medical Association as representing “an amount of patient inquiry and critical thought 24 BRITISH THINK-TANKS AND THE CLIMATE OF OPINION which only those who have personally examined the complex problems of health organisation can fully appreciate” (cited by Nicholson 1981b:45). At the Ministry of Health it became “a sort of Bible”, according to the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir William Jameson, who, it is claimed, “used it as a basis for designing the National Health Service” (although a non-contributory National Health Service had been official Labour Party policy since 1934) (Lindsay 1981:27; Morgan 1984:152).

PEP had made a constructive attempt to explain the lessons learned from incomes policy in each of its various forms to busy decision-makers, yet this only helped to discredit the idea of state controls because the findings showed how complicated the legislation would have to be if it were to have any hope in succeeding. Among its projects conducted in the general field of social policy at this time, PEP also examined the other phenomenon which haunted this period— unemployment. The findings of a national survey published in 1974 showed that the costs of unemployment were particularly high for men with families, rather than for the young people on whom the spotlight had previously been turned.

People with a connection to PEP, such as Eric Roll and Geoffrey Rippon, are important figures in the story of Britain’s attempts to join the EEC, but this only shows that PEP was recognized as a congenial forum for those who were already of a like mind on the subject. One can only conclude that PEP at least helped to inform interested people in Britain, but that UK policy towards the EEC was driven by considerations other than the detailed findings of PEP. Constitutional and domestic policy studies: 1954–78 Between 1954 and 1964, the type of project most commonly undertaken by PEP was the study designed to attract funding; its identity was now clearly that of a “contract research organization” (see Introduction).

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