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Press Releases from 2020

Academic Freedom in Our Universities: the Best and the Worst

17 December 2020

This report analyses over three years of campus censorship (January 2017–August 2020), examining the multiple policies and actions of all the 137 registered UK universities – including their students’ unions – to provide a detailed understanding of the state of free speech across UK academia. This study employs a unique approach, methodology and data to measure restrictions on free speech. We would like to acknowledge previous studies on the separate Free Speech University Rankings by online…

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‘Curtail the influence of hate crime entrepreneurs’ – there should be ‘no extensions to existing hate speech legislation’, says think-tank report

14 December 2020

Given the Law Commission’s consultation on a wide range of proposals for the reform of hate crime laws, Joanna Williams explains in this report the complex “Acts of Parliament and official police guidance designed to clamp down on speech and behaviour deemed, in the eyes of victims or the perception of observers, to be motivated by hostility”. By exploring the history, current context and impact of hate crime legislation and drawing upon interviews with…

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Race Disparity Unit might 'better serve' the public by ‘looking to evidence’ – and measuring discrimination rather than disparity over time, says think-tank report

11 December 2020

As the government-appointed Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has set out to address disparity between ethnic or racial groups across various social outcomes, a report by the Director of the Statistics and Policy Research Programme at Civitas, Richard Norrie, examines the numerous reviews conducted by various governments since 2010. His report finds: RACE DISPARITY UNIT: “…the Government’s Race Disparity Unit might better serve the country by looking to evidence and measure discrimination…

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Think-tank report warns of dangers that campus relations at universities are becoming ‘racialised’ – as sector seeks to address disparities through ethnic grouping

20 November 2020

"There is a real danger that campus relations at universities will become racialised", says Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler, in this new report for Civitas. Earlier this year, the Government announced the Commission on race and ethnic disparities, with its main purpose to review inequality in the UK, including in the area of education. This followed the growing interest among many members of the public, but in particular students, towards race relations in the UK. The report…

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China’s Long March through the international institutions – and how the UK should respond

3 September 2020

As the UK’s relationship with China undergoes a period of change – on issues covering the WHO’s response to the pandemic, Hong Kong, Huawei and human rights abuses – some re-evaluation of China’s relationship with international institutions now seems inevitable. This report by Radomir Tylecote and Robert Clark suggests that there are two ‘fronts’ to China’s strategy in the international institutions: • first, influencing and potentially co-opting existing organisations such as UN…

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Deradicalising Islamist offenders: essay collection by former Islamist extremists and international experts seeks balanced approach – and a ‘grounded debate about the limits of effectiveness’ of interventions

1 September 2020

Following the recent terror attacks on London Bridge and Streatham by Islamist terror offenders –  who had been released from prison half-way through their sentences via the automatic release scheme – there has been increasing concern amongst many people in Britain that the prison system is not working in this crucial area. Senior police testimony suggests we face a future jihadist threat in which more dangerous people will drift onto the streets from UK prisons with…

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Government must overcome fear of being labelled ‘Islamophobic’ and address Muslim women’s rights – by making mandatory the registration of all religious marriages

11 August 2020

A significant number of Muslim women in the United Kingdom are in unregistered religious-only marriages, many of whom will be unaware that they lack legal protections and access to marital rights. In this report, Emma Webb examines how the asymmetric nature of those sometimes polygamous marriages and Islamic divorce – which allows a man to instantaneously divorce his wife but makes it much harder for the wife to initiate divorce – leaves women in a precarious…

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Government must urgently establish the Office for Demographic Change (ODC) says think-tank report

15 July 2020

The Government must urgently establish a new Demographic Authority, modelled on the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), according to a new pamphlet by think-tank Civitas. The report, authored by businessman and Conservative Peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, argues that difficult decisions on the consequences of population growth have been kicked into the long grass by successive Governments, pre-occupied with short-term electoral cycles. This has contributed to the decline in trust between…

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Did UK pandemic policy unleash a culture of medical dependence, unrest and insecurity?

10 July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has frequently been viewed in modern Britain as either unique, exceptional or unprecedented. In this report, David Martin Jones and Emma Webb suggest there is nothing particularly novel about disease in the human experience – and cautions that we are desperately in need of some historical perspective. This report’s historical recounting of past pandemics and their interpretation both at the time and by historians – from the Athenian epidemic of 430 BC to…

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Road to economic recovery means rebalancing the economy post Covid-19

7 July 2020

In the wake of the Prime Minister’s recent proposals for economic recovery after the lockdown, including measures to boost infrastructure construction, the UK entrepreneur and economist with a life-long political background in the Labour Party, John Mills suggests in a new report that the UK economy will be faced with a number of disadvantages which will make recovery especially difficult. The major UK challenges… In his report, The Road to Recovery: Reviving Manufacturing…

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‘Schools should reopen fully’ in September – government must ‘drop all requirements for children to practice social distancing with immediate effect’, says think-tank report

2 July 2020

Given the expectation for school reopening plans in England to be unveiled by the government this week, the government should ‘drop all requirements for children to practice social distancing with immediate effect’, urges a new Civitas report. In this report, Joanna Williams argues that children and young people do not appear to be severely affected by coronavirus. There is little evidence that children play a role in transmitting the virus to adults. However, children have…

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A hat trick of pandemic failures

25 June 2020

How the government has so badly mishandled its response to the pandemic – and the questions which Parliament and future inquiries should ask Britain is suffering and will continue to suffer more than any other country in the world from the pandemic, write Jim McConalogue and Tim Knox in A hat trick of failures: How ‘the Blob’ led the British Government down the wrong path, to be published by the think tank Civitas on Thursday 25…

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Transgender ideology leaving a ‘corrosive impact’ on society – new book finds optimism in scrapping of gender recognition reforms

19 June 2020

Given that the UK government is now set to scrap plans to allow people to change their legal gender by “self-identifying” as a different sex – while also preparing to set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces (including refuges and public lavatories), a new Civitas book expresses some optimism for those policies through a series of recommendations. In this report, Joanna Williams argues public institutions have long been captivated by an “ideology of…

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Trading under WTO rules “a far better option” – our EU relationship was “an expensive failure”

12 June 2020

A fundamental issue at the heart of the Brexit trade talks has been the comparison of merits of trade as an EU member and those under WTO rules. In this report, Michael Burrage and Phil Radford compare UK trade as conducted within these two trade relationships, in both goods and services, over the two decades from 1999 to 2018. They argue, it is emphatically trade with the WTO14 that has created jobs in the UK…

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New report outlines deregulatory and tax-cutting measures to reboot Britain

11 June 2020

The crisis does not signal a failure of capitalism nor the need for permanent increase in government intervention or public spending, says a new briefing paper from the IEA and Civitas. The risks of this crisis to the UK economy should not be downplayed; The decline will be huge – and lifting the lockdown may not be sufficient in itself to allow a robust and speedy recovery; Many businesses cannot operate in the new world of…

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Twelve ideas for regenerating a UK economic recovery after lockdown

28 May 2020

What should the Government do to encourage rapid economic recovery from the lockdown while pledging its one-nation commitment to spreading prosperity across all sections of society? In this report, David Green, Director of Civitas identifies how the coronavirus crisis has highlighted some structural weaknesses in our economic life – and offers twelve policy recommendations: 1. Renewal of cities: localising investment power “The primary objective should be to empower people who live locally to solve their…

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WHO, beholden to Beijing, should be investigated – and the Chinese-led global order must be ‘reset’

18 May 2020

In this new report, Year of the Bat: Globalisation, China and the Coronavirus, academic experts Dr Niall McCrae and Professor M.L.R. Smith argue that, as the virus proliferated, China tried to cover up the contagion and did little to stop its worldwide spread from the initial source in Wuhan. Faced with the US administration ceasing funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) and conducting “serious investigations” into Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus…

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What kind of UK economic recovery after lockdown? Look to Britain’s small export businesses in their ‘Brexit boom’

15 May 2020

In recent weeks, some economic assessments have assumed an economic recovery from the coronavirus lockdown that would take the form of a ‘V-shaped’ bounce-back, while others expect long-lasting permanent damage to the economy. A new Civitas publication finds grounds for optimism in the recent track record of Britain’s smaller businesses and their extraordinary export revival. But much depends on how the Government uses its powers once the lockdown ends. Marcus Gibson…

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Human rights laws should be decided democratically in Britain – the constitution needs rebalancing

20 March 2020

The Human Rights Act should be abolished as Britain seeks to regain the ability to decide its own human rights laws within its own democratic public sphere, a new Civitas publication argues. Civitas editorial director Jim McConalogue warns that the Human Rights Act has had a detrimental impact on the UK constitution, emboldening a judicial supremacy of rights, far removed and insulated from the electorate. He sets out how: the glaring contradiction between the government…

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Small business owners experience ‘a great disconnect’ from government – despite repeated claims they form the ‘backbone of the economy’

2 March 2020

Politicians of all parties repeatedly declare that small businesses form the 'backbone of the British economy'. Yet a new survey shows that those same politicians too often fail to provide the right level of support for small business, resulting in ‘a great disconnect’, a new Civitas book reveals today. Tim Knox finds in two surveys that many small business owners feel that government tend to listen to big business far more closely to that of…

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