Deepening the Understanding of Global Policy
Policy is often understood in the social sciences through presentist frameworks with little attention to the history behind these policies. The formal history discipline contributes to this lack of connectivity to the past by focusing its lenses on the period before an arbitrary cut-off date, often the 1970s or the 1980s. Contemporary history, despite having been around for many decades, looks at answering longer term historical questions in more recent periods but does not often connect with contemporary policy initiatives. Moreover, policy and its history, when it does find its way into the same conversation is almost entirely focused on the West, with little consideration of policy formation at a global level of analysis. The scholars in our network seek to change all this.
The History Behind the Policy on a Global Scale
We bring together into the same analytical frameworks contemporary history and policy and demonstrate how they not only interconnect, but how trajectories embedded in the longer roots of emergent policy directions will shape their success or failure in the near and distant future. Our understanding of history is not simply as an explanatory approach (how we got here) but as a predictive tool (where we will wind up). Our history of policy, is not limited to the West, nor does it exclude it, but instead focuses its sights on developments that are globally relevant, including climate policy, security policy, the disarmament regime, the evolution of and challenge to the international human rights regime, migration control, international organizations, modern forms of slavery and forced labour, free trade agreements, development policies, and press freedoms
Changing the world today by applying what we know from its past
We are based in London, UK at the CISD, School of Politics and International Studies, SOAS, University of London.