Research reports

Superseding MMP: Real Electoral reform for New Zealand

After 13 years of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) representation, Prime Minister John Key has said it is time to ‘kick the tyres’ and see how much support the system enjoys. New Zealand will hold a referendum on the electoral system coinciding with the next election, which may well be a close contest. With this referendum looming, it is both desirable and necessary to revisit New Zealand’s electoral system, its peculiarities, and its history. Beyond that, this is also the time to consider alternatives to MMP. [...]

Behind the Moral Curtain: The Politics of a Charter of Rights

Just as judges are not philosopher-kings, nor are legislative drafters. The terms of a charter are subject to the influence of lobbyists; the judicial interpretation of charters is subject to manipulation by legal experts; and the pervasiveness of a charter is impossible to avoid. [...]

Neoliberalism: The Genesis of a Political Swearword

Neoliberalism is one of the most commonly used words in political debates. Despite this, the origins of neoliberalism are hardly known. Nor does there appear to be a generally accepted definition of the term. The original inventors of the word 'neoliberalism' had something completely different in mind. Their philosophy was a reasiong to the Great Depression of the 1930s. As such it was meant to show a 'Third way' between capitalism and socialism. Today's critics of neoliberalism have more in common with neoliberalism than they may think. [...]

When Hassle Means Help

With the number of people out of work and living off benefits staying stubbornly above 4 million, policy makers are increasingly looking at new ideas to get people off welfare and into work. Especially because, since 1997, over £75 billion of Government funds has been ploughed into creating welfare to work programmes. When Hassle Means Help, with contributions from international welfare experts, examines why conditionality works well in other countries, such as the US, Sweden and Germany – why it isn’t working in the UK - and how governments can most effectively get people back into work. [...]

Cities Unlimited

A decade of regeneration policies has failed to stop the inequality of opportunity between towns and cities in the North and those in the South East increasing. In their third report in the series on regeneration in the UK, Cities Unlimited, Tim Leunig and James Swaffield recommend a series of radical proposals that would reverse the trend and inject a much needed momentum back into regeneration policy. The key recommendations from the report are to increase the size of London by allowing landowners the right to convert industrial land into residential land in areas of above average employment; expand Oxford and Cambridge dramatically, just as Liverpool and Manchester expanded in the 19th century and for the Government to roll up current regeneration funding streams and allocate the money direct to local authorities. [...]

Paying for Success – How to make contracting out work in employment services

Policy Exchange commissioned research about five countries that have reformed the way in which they provide employment services to jobseekers: Australia, the United States (Wisconsin), Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. These countries are most frequently mentioned in welfare reform debates. Their experiences are assessed with regard to the lessons they hold for the UK by former Secretary of State for Social Security, Peter Lilley MP. [...]