History, Policy and Public Purpose

Historians and Historical Thinking in Government

Authors: Green, Alix R.

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  • ISBN 978-1-137-52086-9
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Hardcover £37.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-52085-2
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About this book

This book takes a fresh look at the connection between history and policy, proposing that historians rediscover a sense of ‘public purpose’ that can embrace political decision-making – and also enhance historical practice. Making policy is a complex and messy affair, calling on many different forms of expertise and historians have often been reluctant to get involved in policy advice, with those interested in ‘history in public’ tending to work with museums, heritage sites, broadcasters and community organisations. Green notes, however, that historians have also insisted that ‘history matters’ in public policy debate, and been critical of politicians’ distortions or neglect of the past.  She argues that it is not possible to have it both ways.

About the authors

Alix Green is Lecturer in Public History at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. She read history at the University of Cambridge and spent ten years in policy research and government relations before bringing her experience into academic research on the uses of history.  She is particularly interested in historical thinking and the international and conceptual aspects of public history.

Reviews

“Alix Green breaks new ground in anchoring the public purpose of historical scholarship in the real world of policy-making. Her book is a clarion call to historians to assert their public relevance and to governments to recognise the benefits of ‘thinking with history.’ A broadly based theoretical discussion leads seamlessly to some carefully defined suggestions: notably the secondment of historians to government departments, and the incorporation of policy perspectives in the teaching of undergraduates. This is a timely, original, and above all a practical contribution to public history.” (John Tosh, author of Why History Matters and The Pursuit of History, University of Roehampton, UK)

“An unflinching argument for unleashing the full potential of history in the messy process of policymaking. Green challenges academic and public historians alike to reach deeply into our common intellectual roots and reimagine the practice of history as ‘history with public purpose’.” (Rebecca Conard, Middle Tennessee State University, USA)

“This is a timely, significant and extraordinarily pertinent engagement with the urgent nature of public history and the development of potential partnerships with government, heritage, identity and informed debate. Arguing for a system of exchange between the activity of being an historian and the knowledge generated in this activity and the input, shaping and offering of perspectives on public policy and legislation, Alix Green has produced a book that every historian, of whatever status or academic position should read. More importantly, given that it provides a deeply researched and thoughtful analysis of the nature of being an historian, and the possibilities of trust, responsibility and integrity which are aligned with that activity, it provides a necessary starting point for the consideration of the nature and purpose of scholarly ‘impact’ in our modern world.” (Justin Champion, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)

t-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family: Arial">“Alix Green’s book on history and public policy is both timely and important. It is the first critical engagement offered by an historian of the relationship between history, historians, and public policy. She argues persuasively that historians must get involved in policy development. Sharing their knowledge of the past is one obvious contribution they might make but Green’s highly original contention is that thinking through history as a process will enable a more meaningful contribution to policy. Although focused on Britain, this book speaks to policy makers and historians globally. In North America for example, where more academically trained historians work in non-academic settings than in universities, it will have particular appeal, but given the extraordinary growth of public history internationally, this is a book that will be of interest to policy makers in both the public and private sectors and to all practicing historians wherever they may be working.” (David Dean, Carleton University, Canada)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Green, Alix R.

    Pages 1-9

  • Integrity, Advocacy and the Public Purpose of Scholarship

    Green, Alix R.

    Pages 11-36

  • Historians on the Inside: Thinking with History in Policy

    Green, Alix R.

    Pages 37-64

  • The Historian’s Toolkit

    Green, Alix R.

    Pages 65-91

  • Disciplinary Training and Public Purpose in University History Teaching

    Green, Alix R.

    Pages 93-111

Buy this book

eBook £29.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-52086-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £37.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-52085-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
History, Policy and Public Purpose
Book Subtitle
Historians and Historical Thinking in Government
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-52086-9
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-52086-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-52085-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 146
Topics