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, climate change and energy, 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 centre-left parties and actors, we have held conferences and leaders summits in Norway, UK, Chile, US, South Africa, Germany, Sweden and Italy.
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The Policy Network newsletter and website are accessed in over 86 countries, whilst our Political Observatory
and State of the Left
bulletin have become mainstays of centre-left political debate.
"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, director-general of the WTO
"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 European level."
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 (Denmark)
"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 Labour Party (UK)
"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
"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
"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