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

Drug policy: Time for change?

After four people are suspected to have been killed by tablets that may have been thought to be ecstasy over the festive season, Michael Donmall, of the National Drug Evidence Centre at The University of Manchester writes about the dangers of keeping recreational drugs illegal and calls for controlled availability of tested products. Recent deaths [...]
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Policing the North

Last month Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe called for fewer police forces in the UK as cuts in public spending change the way that out services have to operate . Here Michael Dawson, of devolution campaign group Campaign for the North says the region should have a single police force; There are many merits to Bernard Hogan-Howe’s recent [...]
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Public policy and the hegemony of happiness

Policy fetishism about GDP is being replaced by an unthinking devotion to simplistic happiness indicators, warns Annie Austin. “In a decade’s time we’re going to be using happiness as the sole basis for judging the impact of public policy.” So stated Paul Dolan recently in the opening sequence of ITV’s Tonight programme, entitled ‘Is Britain [...]
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Development in 2015

As we enter 2015, Professor David Hulme looks ahead to the next twelve months in international development as the Millennium Development Goals come to an end and plans take shape for the next phase. This year, 2015, will be an important year for ideas and policies about international development.  It marks the completion of the [...]
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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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