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Leading international thinktank and political network


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1. Progressive Capitalism and Inclusive Prosperity
Western economies have to learn the lessons of the financial crisis and learn to cope more decisively with long-term global trends and technological advancement. This requires new political economy settlements which benefit the majority of people and sustain innovation, wealth creation and national competitiveness in the long run. Policy Network leads debates on building a strong, sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

  • Innovation, industrial policy and productivity growth
  • Pre-distribution and market design
  • Finance for growth

2. Social Policy and Changing Welfare States
Tackling inequality and social disadvantage in the context of a globalised and digital knowledge economy, digitalised society and service sector transition requires welfare state renewal. Upskilling, life-long education and training strategies have to take centre stage. In the context of an ageing society, tackling the generational bias and ineffectiveness of the welfare state has become paramount to achieving economic success and social justice. Supporting female employment is also vital for future economic growth. Policy Network seeks to advance an agenda for targeted social investment strategies.

  • Social investment
  • Skills, training and education
  • Labour markets 

3. The Future of the EU
European leaders should work towards pragmatic solutions that make economic integration and the pooling of resources more beneficial to all. Completing the Single Market and making the Eurozone more functional requires a balance between regulatory, tax and social convergence on the one side, and flexibility and national self-government on the other. EU institutions must be placed under greater scrutiny and become more responsive to citizens’ preferences, both at EU and national levels. Policy Network leads debate on functioning and legitimate EU governance, the politics of European integration.

  • European economic governance and the Single Market
  • The social dimension of European integration
  • Multi-level governance and the dispersal of power (local, national,  supranational)

4. Understanding the Populist Signal
Across Europe and beyond, systems of representative democracy are shaking as anger is growing over socio-economic inequalities, concerns over identity and belonging and deep frustration with elite, top-down political settlements. Politics is no longer seen as a force for good, particularly among younger generations, and the capacity of mainstream progressive parties to govern is under stress. Policy Network is concerned with understanding the rise of new political competitors and seeks to promote solutions to declining political trust. We research how technology, individual empowerment and new forms of political organisation can help counter populism and ease democratic fatigue.

  • Populism and extremism
  • New forms of representative democracy
  • Identity and culture

5. Party Politics, Government and Elections   
Progressive political parties need to engage with more ambition in the battle of ideas about the future of policy and politics in western advanced democracies.  Policy Network offers a platform for ideas and international exchange on viable electoral and government strategies in a testing political climate where demands for ‘responsiveness’ and ‘responsibility’ seem increasingly at odds with one another. This takes the form of wide-ranging analysis on our bi-monthly bulletin “State of the Left” and in our international Progressive Governance Network.

  • Coalition-building and the modernisation of political parties
  • New electoral cleavages and party competitors
  • Social citizenship