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Policy Network
Policy Network

Policy Network is an international progressive think tank based in London. The President of Policy Network is former UK First Secretary of State and EU Trade Commissioner Lord Mandelson; Lord Liddle (former Special Adviser to President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso) is Chairperson.[1]


Policy Network seeks to promote strategic thinking on progressive solutions to the challenges of the 21st century and the future of social democracy. It organises debates and conducts research on policy and political challenges.

Policy Network's work has been featured in media outlets such as The Economist,[2][3] the Financial Times,[4][5][6] the BBC,[7][8][9][10] The Guardian,[11][12] The Telegraph,[13] Le Monde,[14] Die Zeit,[15] the Chicago Tribune,[16] and The Huffington Post.[17][18]


Policy Network’s website hosts the Policy Network Observatory, a forum for ideas and policy debate. The Policy Network Observatory also hosts a monthly insight bulletin, The State of the Left, which includes insider analyses of the political climate in a number of countries around the world. In 2010 Policy Network launched its opinion poll tracker, which tracks the fortunes of Europe’s social democratic parties on a cross-comparative basis. Many articles on the Policy Network Observatory have been re-published by the New Statesman and The Guardian and some are also translated into French at Toute L’Europe and Spanish at Agenda Pública and promoted by Policy Network's partner organisations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and Italy. Significant figures who have contributed commissioned articles for the Policy Network Observatory include: Enrico Letta, Lodewijk Asscher, Thomas Piketty, Jason Furman, Sir Julian Priestley, Andrew Duff, Richard Corbett, Andrés Velasco, Lawrence Summers, David Held, Lord Mandelson, Pascal Lamy, Jacob Hacker, Lord Giddens, Michael Lind, Colin Crouch, Elaine Byrne, John Kay, Andrew Gamble, Sir Paul Collier, James K. Galbraith, and Mariana Mazzucato.[19]

Current work programmes

Under conditions of globalisation and European integration, the distinction between national and international problems has become increasingly blurred. Understanding the relationship between the domestic and the international informs Policy Network's work across three areas:

  • The renewal of social democracy
  • Europe’s economic and social models
  • The politics of multi-level governance and institutional reform

Specific topics include: welfare state and labour market reform, globalisation, European Union, economic governance, industrial policy, climate change and energy, and migration and integration.

Current or recent projects include economic and public service reform; migration, integration and political trust; and the future of the post-financial crisis global economy.

Progressive Governance Network

The Progressive Governance Network, for which Policy Network acts as the secretariat, brings together progressive heads of state, government ministers, politicians and intellectuals from across the world to address the challenges of globalization. The network's stated goal is to enhance co-operation and links between key progressive policymakers and academics as well as to provide a meeting place for exchanging concrete policies and practices. The Progressive Governance Network was launched in 1999 by U.S. President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Wim Kok, and Prime Minister of Italy Massimo D'Alema.

Since its formation in 1999, Progressive Governance conferences have been held in Chile, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Norway and Sweden. These conferences have often been hosted by incumbent heads of state including; Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet in 2009; UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown in 2010; Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg in 2011, and Irish Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in 2012. Participants have included Brazilian presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy; and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The 2013 Progressive Governance conference was hosted by the Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Copenhagen in April 2013.[20]

Board members


Peter Mandelson, Baron Mandelson: Former UK first secretary of state, business secretary and EU Trade commissioner




  • Renaud Thillaye, Can the EU spend better? [57] , 2016
  • Florian Ranft, Martin Adler, Patrick Diamond, Eugenia Guerrero, and Matthew Laza, Freeing the Road [58] , 2016
  • Lucia Quaglia and Waltraud Schelkle, EU economic governance after Brexit [59] , 2016
  • Andrew Duff, After Brexit [60] , 2016
  • Renaud Thillaye, Can the EU spend more green? [61] , 2016
  • Matthias Machnig and Oliver Schmolke, Distributing the Future [62] , 2016
  • Jonathan Ashworth, Sunny Ways: Learning from Success and Failure in Canada [63] , 2016
  • Helen Thompson and Leila Simona Talani, The impact of Brexit on the City and the British economic model [64] , 2016
  • Florian Ranft, Aiming High [65] , 2016
  • Frans Timmermans, Community: Discovering Ties That Bind [66] , 2016
  • Jake Summer, Building for Generation Rent [67] , 2016
  • Daniel Sage, Young people at risk: Challenges and policy options for the UK [68] , 2016
  • Greg McClymont and Andy Tarrant, Towards a New Pensions Settlement [69] , 2016
  • Andrew Duff, Britain's special status in Europe [70] , 2016
  • Roger Liddle, Baron Liddle, The Risk of Brexit [71] , 2015
  • Pat McFadden and Andy Tarrant, What would 'out' look like? [72] , 2015
  • Claudia Chwalisz and Patrick Diamond, The Predistribution Agenda [73] , 2015
  • Britain's EU renegotiation: the view from our partners [74] , 2015
  • Patrick Diamond and Giles Radice, Can Labour Win? [75] , 2015
  • Sofia Vasilopoulou, Mixed feelings: Britain's conflicted attitudes to the EU before the referendum [76] , 2015
  • Liddle, Roger (2014). The Europe Dilemma: Britain and the Drama of EU Integration [77] . I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781780762234.
  • Damian Chalmers, "Democratic Self-Government in Europe" [78] , 2013
  • "Immigration, Work and Welfare" [79] , Elena Jurado, Grete Brochmann, and Jon Erik Dølvik (eds), 2013
  • Stephen Hockman, "Legislating for Responsible Capitalism" [80] , 2012
  • On Growth, Larry Summers, 2012
  • Rebalancing What?, Mariana Mazzucato, 2012
  • Jacob Hacker, "The Institutional Foundations of Middle Class Democracy" [81] , 2011
  • Colin Crouch, "Is There a Liberalism Beyond Social Democracy?", 2011
  • Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter, and Hopi Sen, "In the Black Labour: Why Fiscal Conservatism and Social Justice Go Hand-in-hand" [82] , 2011
  • Alfredo Cabral and Priya Shankar, "Brazil Rising: The Prospects of an Emerging Power" [83] , 2011
  • Patrick Diamond and Giles Radice, "Southern Discomfort Again" [84] , 2010
  • Lauren M. McLaren, "Cause for Concern? The Impact of Immigration on Political Trust" [85] , 2010
  • Priya Shankar, "Old Player, New Role? India in a Multi-polar World" [86] , 2010
  • David Hetherington and Tim Soutphommasane, "What's the Story? Nation-building Narratives in Australian Climate Politics" [87] , 2010
  • David Held and Angus Fane Hervey, "Democracy, climate change and global governance" [88] , 2009
  • Giddens, Anthony (2009). Politics of Climate Change [89] . Cambridge, UK: Polity. ISBN 9780745646923.

Partner think tanks


Policy Network has been given a C grade for funding transparency by Who Funds You?[21]

Policy Network discloses the identities of its funders on its website, but does not reveal how much money each funder provided. According to its website: "In 2016, Policy Network received core funding from Lord Sainsbury of Turville. In addition, support for specific projects was received from the Barrow Cadbury Fund; European Commission; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES); RSPB; Nissan Europe; Aberdeen Asset Management; Bertelsmann Stiftung and Foundation of European Progressive Studies (Feps). Event sponsorship was also received from E!Sharp; Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research; TechUK; Deutsche Börse and Gatsby."[22]

See also

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