Big Society versus Big State – unpicking a myth

The current debate in the UK about the  “Big Society” has been marred by some unfortunate mythology about to what extent the “Big Society” already exists, whether it is growing or shrinking, and whether it is counter-posed to the “Big State”.  The argument can be summed up as follows: Continue reading

Learning in Government – not: the decimation of knowledge

The New Labour government made a great song and dance about “evidence based policy”, which was generally observed more in rhetoric than in reality. But to be fair to them, their period in office did see a big increase in knowledge about “what works” and “what performs” in government, even if they didn’t always (often?) act on it. Continue reading

Western Universities Helped Ferment the Arab Revolt

Over the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of students from (usually autocratic) Arab states have attended universities in Britain, America and other western countries. On a smaller scale, many western universities have also run all sorts of training and education programmes in these same states. Continue reading