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

Why (Smart) Aid Matters

It looks, thankfully, like DFID has survived the brunt of austerity savings made since the financial crash of 2008. While backroom costs have been cut, the government has stuck to its commitment to earmark 0.7% of Gross National Income for Official Development Assistance.  Though critics instinctively point to the development budget in suggesting where we [...]
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Polling Observatory Scottish referendum special: who is ahead, and how close is it?

This is a Scottish independence special of a regular series of posts that reports on the state of support for the parties in Westminster as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence the impact of the random variation each individual survey inevitably produces can be reduced. Most of the short [...]
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The Polling Observatory Forecast 4: Conservative hopes recede slowly

As explained in the inaugural election forecast, up until May next year the Polling Observatory team will be producing a long term forecast for the 2015 General Election, using methods first applied ahead of the 2010 election (and which are also well-established in the United States). The authors’ method involves trying to make the best use of [...]
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Polling Observatory 40: Treading water as Scotland’s big moment approaches

This is the fortieth in a series of posts by Dr Robert Ford, Dr Will Jennings, Dr Mark Pickup and Prof Christopher Wlezien that report on the state of the parties in the UK as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence, the impact of the random variation that each individual survey inevitably produces can [...]
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Racial inequality in employment worsened in recessions

Despite Race Acts intended to ensure equality of opportunity, employment inequality persists – and got worse in each recent recession, explains Professor Yaojun Li. Ethnic minority men are more likely than white men to be jobless when the economy is booming. During periods of recession they suffer disproportionately higher unemployment rates. Social surveys covering the [...]
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Can we ever estimate how many British Muslims will become Islamic extremists?

That the UK’s counter-terrorism policy relies on flawed polls and survey questions for estimating the number of likely terrorists is truly scary, argues Dr Maria Sobolewska. Last week the media turned once again to trying to quantify how many young British Muslims are wannabe terrorists, travelling to Syria and Iraq and joining the Islamic terrorists [...]
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