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New forum for Public Policy Research

A new forum for public policy research is to be launched in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

Oxford Universitys world-class reputation as a forum for learning and international debate continues to make it the first port of call for governments and international organisations seeking advice from experts on every conceivable issue of public policy. The Public Policy Unit, housed in the Department of Politics and International Relations, aims to act as a bridge between the academic world of advanced and rigorous research on current issues in public policy and the needs of governments and organisations for quick, well-informed, impartial advice.

Directed by Professor Iain McLean, the Public Policy Unit has a broad membership, drawn from across the University. Professor McLean himself has many years` background in public policy research and has provided advice to a range of government departments and Select Committees. The Unit also has a dedicated Research Director, Dr Stuart White, whose work focuses on the philosophy and politics of egalitarianism, particularly tax and social policy.

Members of the Unit are already working with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the think tank IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) as well as making a contribution to the ESRC Public Services Programme: Quality, Performance and Delivery (also hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations) looking into performance assessment.

The Public Policy Unit will be launched at an open seminar on Friday 18th November in the Lecture Theatre of the Manor Road Building. Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation will speak on the subject of The Academic and the Policy-maker. Geoff is a former Director of the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit and is a senior fellow at the Australia New Zealand School of Government. Radio 4 is currently airing his Honest Politics programme on Wednesdays at 8.45pm.

Professor McLean has said: I am delighted that we have created a forum where policy-makers and academics can get together to understand one another better.

Further information about the Unit can be found on its website: http://ppu.politics.ox.ac.uk. The Unit is associated with the established Centre for the Study of Democratic Government, also located in the Department (http://government.politics.ox.ac.uk)