Manchester Policy Blogs
Expert insight, analysis and comment on key public policy issues

Do religious people volunteer more?

Among ethnic minorities in Britain, religious people are more likely to volunteer, but only for ethnic and religious organisations, explains Dr Ingrid Storm.  Since the 1990s, the government has involved ‘faith groups’ as partners in local policy and service provision in order to promote civic participation and community cohesion.  However, it is as yet unclear [...]
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Polling Observatory #43: Stability returns with race close to dead heat

This is the forty-third in a series of posts that report on the state of the parties as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence we can reduce the impact of the random variation each individual survey inevitably produces. Most of the short term advances and setbacks in party polling [...]
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Decoupling education from party politics

Dr Andy Howes, of the Manchester Institute of Education at The University of Manchester,  discusses possible changes to the exam system, as discussed at an Education Select Committee meeting earlier this month. The select committee is arguably a high point of democratic accountability within the Westminster system. The Education Select Committee earlier this month was [...]
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All this talk about balancing the budget is …

Remember the Maastricht criteria? No, I didn’t think so. Nor apparently do Britain’s political leaders, based on their manifestos for tackling the UK’s deficit. The Maastricht Criteria were the convergence criteria for European countries that wanted to join the Euro. Agreed in 1992 (including by John Major’s Conservative government) it covered inflation, deficits, debt, exchange [...]
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Are all lives valued equally?

On World Human Rights day, Dr. Róisín Read, of the Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute at The University of Manchester, writes about the ethics and issues surrounding humanitarian aid. As the 64th World Human Rights Day is marked today, it is worth taking this opportunity to think about the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism, as some of [...]
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New poverty research shows potential of citizen-led science

New research and a set of interactive charts and maps are launched today by the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group (GMPAG), together with the University of Manchester, revealing the continuing extent of poverty among the city region’s poorest residents.  This new research sets out key poverty data for Greater Manchester, made available through an interactive [...]
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Internet provides new threat to employment rights

Yesterday shoppers are estimated to have spent almost £500,000 every minute buying Christmas presents online, on what has been dubbed ‘Manic Monday’. Internet technologies are challenging not just commerce, but also employment practices. Amazon provides a ‘crowd employment platform’ that disrupts traditional employer-worker relationships and creates a new class of freelance worker without employment rights, [...]
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