Policy Network is a leading thinktank and international political network based in London. We seek to promote strategic thinking on progressive solutions to the challenges of the 21st century and the future of social democracy, impacting upon policy debates in the UK, the rest of Europe and the wider world.
Policy Network organise debates and conduct research on policy and political challenges that present all governments and political parties with urgent dilemmas, either because sustainable solutions remain elusive, or because there are political barriers to their implementation.
Through a distinctly collaborative and cross-national approach to research, events and publications, the thinktank has acquired a reputation as a highly valued platform for perceptive and challenging political analysis, debate and exchange. Building from our origins in the late 1990s, the network has become an unrivaled international point-of-contact between political thinkers and opinion formers, serving as a nexus between the worlds of politics, academia, public policymaking, business, civil society and the media.
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 our work across three principal areas:
• The renewal of social democracy
• Europe’s economic and social models
• The politics of multi-level governance and institutional reform
Topics in which we have specialist knowledge include welfare state and labour market reform, globalisation, European Union, economic governance, industrial policy, and migration and integration.
The Progressive Governance Network
, for which Policy Network acts as the secretariat, is at the core of our activity and identity. Dedicated to promoting international dialogue between progressive parties and actors, we have held conferences and leaders summits in countries including: Norway, UK, Chile, US, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Italy and Denmark.
Policy Network receives funding and support from a number of sources including private donations, sponsorship and grants. Policy Network is committed to only accept sponsorship for projects that advance the aims and core values of our organisation.
In 2013, Policy Network received funding from Lord Sainsbury of Turville and from organisations: the Barrow Cadbury Trust; the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; the Foundation of European Progressive Studies; the Samuel Lindow Foundation; the Confederation of British Industry; the City of London Corporation; and the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom.
External funding and partnerships supports our research, publications and allows us to provide conferences, seminars, and debates at no cost to participants, the vast majority of which are open to the public. Our publications are available, free to download, on our website.
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The Policy Network newsletter and website are read in over 86 countries, and our Political Observatory
and State of the Left
bulletin have become mainstays of centre-left political debate.
"Policy Network is at the cutting edge of debate on future options for
policy making, in particular in thinking about what should be done at
Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council
"I have had the pleasure of being part of Policy Network’s work for
almost 15 years and, of course, during those years I have made many good
friends in the network and it is always a delight to be in the company
of the excellent thinkers of Policy Network. In Policy Network I have
always found a source of inspiration that never dries out. Time and time
again I have been engaged by new ideas, new insights, and straight
talk, and straight talk is important. Policy Network is committed to the
politics of reality, the politics of real life for real people."
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, prime minister of Denmark and leader of the Social Democrats
"Without Policy Network, Europe may have been a lot less European, the UK a lot less European, and European Social Democracy a lot less European. London-based thinktank Policy Network cannot be appreciated enough for its important work of sharing ideas and exchanging government experiences all across Europe."
Lodewijk Asscher, deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and minister of social affairs and employment
"Policy Network has been extraordinarily successful in building an
international network of progressive thinking. They bring together
people with an interest in developing a stronger international movement
on the centre-left, helping to compare and contrast the experiences of
different centre-left parties, but at the same time building a crucial
sense of camaraderie across national divides."
Ed Miliband, leader of the UK Labour Party
"Like so few others, Policy Network is confronting the big challenges of
our times: how to come to terms with globalisation and the complex
interplay between domestic and international politics. By championing a
progressive agenda, it has become an invaluable force for better
governance in Europe and other parts of the world."
Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the WTO and honorary president of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute
"Policy Network is unique in Europe for advancing the cause of the
progressive agenda that EU countries need to transform their economic
and social models to make them fit for the 21st century. Its workshops
and conferences are extraordinary events for the quality of intellectual
exchanges between policy leaders and thinkers from the UK, Europe and
the world beyond."
André Sapir, Economics Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Senior Fellow at Bruegel
"Around Europe the liberal left is anxiously and urgently asking
questions about how it can and should shape contemporary capitalism.
Policy Network is becoming an indispensable part of that European
conversation – stimulating ideas and bringing people together. A
valuable and crucial thinktank."
Will Hutton, principal of Hertford College, Oxford and chair of the Big Innovation Centre
"No other think tank has the international network or reputation of
Policy Network. It has served as a forum for debate for political
leaders and thinkers from all over the world, while its own publications
have had a major impact upon political discourse and policymaking."
Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics
"Policy Network is an essential institution. It provides a forum for
wide-ranging and open debate on the challenges we face, and fosters
analysis that is intellectually rigorous and politically engaged."
Andrew Gamble, head of the Politics Department, Cambridge University
"Policy Network helps us to understand the divisions in our developed
societies and invites us to continually reflect on the role of the
welfare state and the reforms necessary to protect the foundations on
which it was built...It poses fundamental questions about the future of
social democracy in Europe and the role it can play in developing a
suitable response to the crisis of financial capitalism."
Michel Noblecourt, political editor of Le Monde
"The progressives’ smartest think-tank."
Philip Stephens, Associate Editor of the Financial Times