17th November 2019

Post-Liberal Renewal

The last few decades have been dominated by social and economic liberalism. The economic and political shocks of the recession and the vote to leave the EU have exposed the limitations of this consensus. Blue Labour and Red Tory provided initial accounts of the crisis and a possible way out, but neither has yet generated lasting change. The political space in the country still exists, however, and this Windsor gathering bought together senior thinkers across the political aisle to clarify our diagnosis and begin to build a movement to respond to the contemporary challenges we face.

1st October 2019

AI & Healthcare

We explored the potential benefits of applying AI in healthcare, as well as the risks to be faced. AI, as you know has huge implications for medical practitioners and patients alike. It has, for example, the potential to offer innovative solutions to longstanding challenges faced by the NHS by empowering patients to take more responsibility for their own care, so reducing pressure on an overstretched health system.

However, its use also comes with great risks: protection of patient data and the inclusivity of healthcare are just two areas of concern. How can the NHS best weigh the benefits and risks to ensure that all patients have access to the best possible healthcare within a system they can trust? What are the systemic changes facing healthcare provision? What are the attitudinal shifts required by providers and users? During our twenty-four hours together, we will look at how best to harness the potential of AI in healthcare from these and other angles.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

4th September 2019

Challenges for a world where drugs are legally regulated

In partnership with Transform Drugs

Managing the production, supply and use of illicit drugs is one of the most pressing issues facing global policymakers. Despite a continued commitment to the enforcement of prohibition in most of the world, drug markets continue to expand and countries are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of drug-related deaths. At the same time, the violence associated with the illicit drugs trade has continued to grow, with devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. 

This consultation bought together a range of international, cross-disciplinary experts to consider the ‘what ifs’ of a post-legalisation landscape. It did not dwell on the arguments for and against legal regulation, but rather considered the challenges and opportunities as reform becomes more widespread. They were seeking the broadest possible range of views, and consideration of the widest range of  actors. They want to move beyond some of the familiar debates about individual rights or the ineffectiveness of current policy to ask what we would need to be prepared for as policy changes. How might it affect the economy? How might we assess benefits and harm? How might we protect vulnerable communities in the developing world? How can we ensure policy protects public health?

The discussion opened the space for a fruitful and constructive exchange of views about the realities of promoting health and social justice in a world where drugs were legally regulated. By doing so, they hope to better inform the current debate on drug policy and ensure that, as things move forward, all the key issues are taken into consideration.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

Understanding the Prevent Strategy
20th March 2019

Understanding the Prevent Strategy: on paper, in practice, in public perception

The Prevent Strategy, set up in 2006 and reviewed in 2011 and 2018, aims to prevent terrorism by targeting people who are deemed vulnerable to radicalisation and is an extremely contested arm of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. It.

In a 2017 House of Commons debate James Berry, MP described the ‘two polar opposite views’ on Prevent: one that sees it as an essential and inviolable tool in the fight against terrorism; the other that criticizes its perceived targeting of Muslims and potential to erode rights to privacy and confidentiality. The conflict between these two interpretations is exacerbated by factors including the difficulty in defining radicalization and the lack of concrete information on Prevent referrals due to the confidential nature of its service. In addition, the claim that Prevent has a safeguarding function has been criticized due to a fear that it will lead to securitization of essential services such as health and social care. How is Prevent interacting with these concerns and challenges? Is it effective and fair and what steps can be taken to make it more so? Thought and discussion are needed to answer these questions.

a cross in a box on a voting card
31st October 2017

Learning for Democracy

In partnership with Democracy Matters

These are momentous times in global politics. The UK has begun its formal withdrawal from the European Union; in the USA, the advent of President Trump has polarised the American electorate in ways that have not been seen for decades. Elections loom across Europe.

Inevitably, democracy itself is under scrutiny.

 As the background paper suggests, just 21% of Britons trust politicians to tell the truth (Ipsos-Mori 2016). Only a third are satisfied with how Parliament works and think the system by which Britain is governed works well, with those furthest from Westminster most likely to be dissatisfied (Hansard Society 2016 Audit of Political Engagement). Only 13% of people feel they have any influence. On average, 40% of 18-24 year olds voted in the last four general elections, compared to over 60% in 1992. The UK’s youth turnout rate is the lowest in Western Europe, and half that of Sweden, for example.

During our Consultation we looked in depth at how we address such apathy. How might we educate our young people to become active participants in the democratic process and how might we use formal and informal education to help create a democracy that works for as many people as possible.

Civic Engagement & Digital Technology
26th June 2017

Civic engagement: How can digital technology encourage greater engagement in Civic Society

The final consultation of four in the Corsham Institute 2017 Thought Leadership Programme in partnership with Rand Europe.

The need for a stronger, more effective understanding of a good citizenship within a connected society was a key theme to emerge from our 2016 Thought Leadership programme. This final event in the 2017 series developed on this theme, and considered how digital technology might be used to strengthen local communities and engage citizens of all ages more generally in our democracy.

With rising disenchantment with main stream political parties, lower voter participation, the rise in support for populist (challenger) political parties, and a general shift in attitudes away from traditional institutions of authority, there is a need to revisit how we can better engage citizens of all ages and backgrounds in civic society, and to support greater participation in our democratic processes at a national as well as local level.

The full Consultation report can be read here. The 2017 Thought Leadership Programme key findings summary can be read here.

Electoral reform society
1st February 2017

Electoral Reform Society

In recent years the Electoral Reform Society has been building relationships across the trade union movement to pursue voting system reform as well as wider changes to our democracy that help to increase people’s participation in politics.

This Consultation aimed to take that work to the next level by bringing key allies together to discuss where next for trade unions, electoral reform and other issues affecting the health of our democracy.

6th September 2016

Civil Society and the State

The Role of Charities in Campaigning

The compact between the state and charity has undergone significant transformation since the Second World War. Today, the operating environment for charities is in considerable regulatory and financial flux. Their role in campaigning is increasingly part of public discourse. How should we define the relationship between civil society and the state in a representative democracy­? 

Our Consultation looked in depth at the issues, bringing together senior people from a range of relevant sectors to spend concentrated time on the topic, away from the glare of the media in the privacy of Windsor Castle.

The summary report can be read here.

Two hands exchanging money
25th June 2015

Corruption, Protest and Militancy

In collaboration with the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP) at the London School of Economics, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the World Peace Foundation


Current research into corruption is transforming the understanding of the phenomenon. Rather than seeing corruption as the work of individual “bad apples,” guilty of such crimes as bribery, fraud or extortion, analysts are beginning to define it as a functioning system, achieving its core objective with real effectiveness.

Such systems are made up of multi-dimensional political-economic relationships associated with different forms of predatory elite governance—which may differ in form and function in different countries. These developments demand cogent analysis and effective policy responses.

The main question for the consultation was: how does pervasive corruption in government relate to militancy and radicalism in society? Secondary questions included: what forms of corruption tend to be most politically radicalizing? What other risk factors, in conjunction with corruption, help drive extreme responses? What is the role of international assistance and security cooperation in enabling corruption? What is the best combination of policies that can be adopted to mitigate corruption and its adverse political impacts? Should certain countries be prioritised for concerted policy actions? On the basis of what criteria?

A cl;ip art image of hands in the air.
13th October 2014

Changing Politics – Towards a New Democracy

In partnership with Political Studies Association

Over the last 20 years the nature of political engagement in British society has changed dramatically. There is substantial evidence of incrementally growing citizen disenchantment with politics both in terms of behaviour and attitudes. Observational, focus and survey data all point in the same direction.

Reform of politics has been a matter of public discourse for a decade and more. It is an issue of interest and concern to all the political parties although there is little agreement as to how to make such reform work. In fact there is little agreement on what the reforms should be. Our consultation proposed to look in depth at the matter and to work towards practical, forward-looking solutions.

To read the full report click here.