Big Society

Social science: why does it matter?

Social science provides a vital critical perspective on policy – but in a service-driven economy it also has many practical applications, argues David Walker, head of policy at the Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science.

Is devolution the answer to the North-South divide?

There is an increasing pressure to devolve more power to the regions in the wake of the Scottish referendum. Many argue that centralised control results in a “one size fits all” approach to regional policy which is no longer relevant. A new report calls for a more targeted and tailored approach.

All in it together?

Poorer groups have been worst affected by changes to direct taxes, benefits and tax credits despite the Coalition’s promise that the rich would carry the burden of austerity, a group of major new reports from LSE suggests. As a result, poverty has been increasing and will get worse in the next five years.

Charitable giving: how can schools be helped to do more?

The amount of funds raised by schools for outside charities has dropped in the past year. Schools will continue to give less if they cannot get educational value from the process, new research from the Citizenship Foundation suggest

Why household surveys are key to well-judged policy

The years since 1990 have been littered with policy failures rooted in a misunderstanding of ordinary households. So says Professor Sir Ivor Crewe of Oxford University, who believes large scale household surveys like Understanding Society could help policy makers and politicians get it right.