MINDSPACE grows up – behavioural economics in government

, 6 January 2014

The report was originally commissioned by the last Labour government which hasn’t stopped a few members of the current opposition expressing degrees of scepticism about the way in which this government has enthusiastically taken up its techniques. The soon to be spun-out Behavioural Insights Team, established by David Cameron under MINDSPACE author, and former...

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What’s not working; how to make government evaluation better value for money

, 20 December 2013

We have been waiting a long time for the NAO to produce its verdict on evaluation in government, but it is welcome nonetheless. What’s wrong At a time when budgets are under sustained pressure, it seems bizarre that government has adopted such an ad hoc approach to knowing whether its policies are working or...

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Detainee Inquiry – obstacles to finding out what happened

, 19 December 2013

Behind the careful legal language of the Detainee Inquiry report, a picture emerges of inadequate supervision and guidance, generally decent intentions and conduct, and the reluctance for a long time of the intelligence agencies and government to face up to the implications of Britain’s closest ally mistreating and torturing people. The agencies were initially...

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Leadership contest – Gladstone, Disraeli and the modern premiership

, 12 December 2013

For William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, often compared (not least in Dick Leonard’s recent joint biography of them), the factors that made them successful during their multiple premierships in the late 19th century were wildly different. Gladstone was a details man, Disraeli a schemer. Gladstone was a workaholic, his large team of aides and...

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Season’s Greetings

, 4 December 2013

Yes, the Autumn Statement comes but once a year. The Chancellor will deliver this year’s statement tomorrow, a day after his little helper, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, published the government’s latest infrastructure plan. The Autumn Statement is one of the two big financial announcements made to Parliament by the Chancellor. Traditionally, it...

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50 ways to leave a coalition – and how to govern in the final phase

, 28 November 2013

These questions – and more – are the subject of a seminar at the Institute for Government – ‘50 Ways to Leave a Coalition’. In practice, there may not be 50 distinct scenarios, but as our panellists from the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Sweden will illustrate, there are quite a range of potential endgames....

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