Civitas

Institute for the Study of Civil Society


Civitas

Institute for the Study of Civil Society


Civitas

Institute for the Study of Civil Society



Latest Books and Pamphlets



A Tangled Web: Why you can't believe crime statistics,
by Rodger Patrick

Crime is going dow, officially, yet most people feel that society is becoming more crime-ridden. What could explain the discrepancy between the claims made by politicians and the everyday experience of citizens? In this hard-hitting exposé, Rodger Patrick, former Chief Inspector of West Midlands Police, shows how this has come about. He unpacks the gaming behaviours of police forces under pressure from central government to reduce crime rates and increase detection rates by any means – including some that are unethical and even criminal. Read More


Checking Up: How the Coalition's plans to cut back on criminal records checks have been defeated, by Josie Appleton

Since 2002, more than 40 million criminal records checks have been carried out at a cost of nearly two billion pounds, yet there has never been any significant research showing the effectiveness of mass vetting in child protection terms. In June 2010, the Coalition government promised to 'scale back' criminal records checks to 'common-sense proportions'. This has not happened and, far from being scaled back, in certain ways the vetting system appears to have become more complicated, expansive and expensive. Read More


Softening the Blow: Who gains from the EU and how they can survive Brexit, by Jonathan Lindsell

'Brexit' - British exit from the European Union - is a distinct possibility. Although many argue that the economy of an independent Britain will be more successful on the whole, there are sectors in which people feel that they benefit from EU membership. These people are consequently strong critics of the Brexit movement. In Softening the Blow, Jonathan Lindsell discusses Brexit fears with industry spokespeople, then explores how these could be addressed post-independence. He argues that Britain would need to act decisively to fill the gaps that the EU used to cover. Read More


With Friends Like These... Why Britain should leave the EU - and how, by David Conway

Trust in the European Union has been in steep decline since the eurocrisis, and the 2014 European Parliament elections saw many MEPs sent to Brussels to represent parties opposed to the federalist agenda, and in some cases to the EU itself. Euroscepticism has become a vital topic for debate. But it is scarcely reasonable to expect people to make up their minds on this important issue without setting before them the alternatives to EU membership. David Conway considers the alternatives, as well as several possible exit strategies. Read More


Progressively Worse: The burden of bad ideas in British schools, by Robert Peal

Since 1953, education spending in Britain has increased by nine times in real terms yet levels of numeracy and literacy among school leavers have hardly changed. In this historical analysis, Robert Peal shows how the UK's abject record in education can be traced to the dominance of so-called progressive teaching methods. This approach has largely ignored the importance of rigour, knowledge and discipline - to disastrous effect. Now, empirical data is laying bare its lack of success and cognitive science is showing fundamental misconceptions about how children learn. Read More


The Demise of the Free State: Why British democracy and the EU don't mix, by David G Green

As the UK approaches a crossroads in its relationship with the European Union, Civitas director David G Green contrasts the ideals that have evolved in the British political system over many centuries - best described as those of liberal civilisation, or what he calls a 'free state' - with the unaccountable structures of the EU which seem designed to insulate decision-makers from popular opinion. In a wide-ranging discussion of the evolution of British democracy, he sets out the powerful political and ethical arguments for upholding the UK's independence. Read More


Prisoners of the Blob: Why most education experts are wrong about nearly everything, by Toby Young

What is "The Blob" and what has a 1950s sci-fi movie got to do with education policy? Journalist and free school founder Toby Young explains how the education establishment has been sucked into a thoughtworld which will not permit reasonable discussion of the best ways to school our children. The adherence of teaching unions and academic "experts" to so-called progressive classroom techniques is so fanatical that they ignore a huge body of evidence pointing to the need for a more disciplined, teacher-led and knowledge-rich approach. Read More