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The Condition of Britain Priority

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IPPR’s flagship Condition of Britain programme is seeking to better understand the pressures facing people in Britain, the potential we have to overcome these challenges together and what this means for the priorities and practices of centre-left politics.

Britain is a country with a unique history, great strengths and compassionate, creative people. However, economic turmoil and deeper social trends are testing our society and placing significant strain on people’s lives. In the early 1990s, IPPR ran the Commission on Social Justice and redefined the mainstream political response to core social policy questions. Now, as Britain emerges from recession and faces up to major social trends like ageing alongside a decade of limited public resources, IPPR is once again asking what the central challenges facing society are and whether we have the right politics, policies and institutions to respond.

The overarching question for the Condition of Britain programme is: how can we come together to build a good society in uncertain and austere times?

The programme has three core objectives:

  • To understand the major pressures facing people across Britain
  • To identify what resources exist to advance core social goals and where responsibility for action should lie
  • To reorient the goals, priorities and methods of centre-left politics to respond to these challenges

In the course of this project, IPPR researchers are talking to people across the country about their experiences, the stresses and strains they encounter, and what is needed to help them to live more fulfilling and less pressured lives. To watch and listen to British people telling their stories, visit our video blog at Combined with rigorous analysis of the latest data and trends, we are generating new insights about condition of British society and defining the central challenges for social policy over the coming decade.

The programme will consider core policy questions across a range of areas, including social security, employment, housing, childcare, community safety and ageing. IPPR will launch an interim report at the end of 2013, showcasing our findings on the state of British society. A final report with new arguments and policy ideas will be published in early summer 2014.