Policy Briefs

Policy briefs should address an issue or issues directly relevant to economic problems facing the United Kingdom.  The policy briefs are designed in particular to serve as short briefing papers for shadow ministers and their advisers, with links to longer and more technical treatments.   

The guidelines for writing the policy briefs are as follows:

  1. Topics should be specific.  Broad discussions of policy making and political principles will go into the commentary section (see below).
  2. Length should be in the range of 500-1500 words.  Contributors can include hyperlinks to longer technical analysis and statistical work.
  3. Format should conform to a few guidelines.  If appropriate the brief should be structured into three parts (examples are found on this website):
    Policy Issue in which the problem or issue is stated.
    Analysis that provides the context for the policy issue.
    Policy Proposals in which the appropriate measures are stated.
  4. Style should be non-polemical and neutral in tone in as far as is possible for the issues addressed.
  5. Multiple contributions on the same issue are encouraged.
  6. Authorship: There must be a named author or authors; the posted policy briefs will also give a very short description of each author’s professional or other relevant position.

The principles governing the inclusion of PB’s are as follows:

  1. All contributions are accepted if they are consistent with social democratic values broadly defined; and 
  2. If they are consistent with professional standards of expertise, statements are verified, and sources provided for empirical conformation.

The moderator reserves the right to decline to accept any contribution for posting, if it is felt that the principles are not met. 

Contributions will be edited and the revised versions sent to the contributor for endorsement before posting. 

Please send contributions to: jw10@soas.ac.uk

Commentary Contributions

Commentary on, and responses to, policy briefs will be posted on the Commentary section of the website.  We intend this commentary section as the home for discussions of economic policy principles and proposals rather than political debate as such.  For example, a policy brief on university funding reform might give rise to an entry on the commentary blog discussing the de-commercialization of tertiary education. The length of commentary contributions should also not exceed 1500 words.  Contributions must also follow the principles set out above.