Prospect’s 13th annual awards rewarded strong work on economic growth and international conflictby Prospect Team / July 15, 2013 / Leave a comment
The past year has been dominated by the effects of economic weakness and the beginnings of recovery. Politicians have struggled to convince voters that society can function well while public spending is frozen or shrinking—and that they might have to accept less in pensions, healthcare and education than they had expected. In Britain, despite faint signs of the return of growth, this remains the central problem of domestic policy—can the country do more, with less? The eurozone crisis is in abeyance—but, many argue, only for now. Violence and protests in Turkey and Brazil highlight that even in fast growing countries voters are challenging their governments.
Problems outside the economic sphere are legion, most urgently in Syria, which risks becoming the focus of a proxy war. The announcment by the United States that it would talk to the Afghan Taliban has raised some hopes of a deal but also the retort that the 12-year intervention has bought little success. The violence in Afghanistan has not stopped—neither have the centrifuges of Iran’s nuclear programme.
It was against this backdrop that Prospect held the Think Tank Awards 2013, now in their 13th year. The awards recognise the organisations that contend with these problems and whose ideas, events and publications help to shape the thinking of government and public towards the national and international policy debate. In picking the winners, the judges were looking for rigour of thought and originality, and gave special attention to the ideas that had proved most influential.
The awards were presented on 25th June at the Royal Society. The judges were: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University; Bill Emmott, former Editor of the Economist; Richard Lambert, Chancellor of Warwick University, former Editor of the Financial Times and member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee; David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham; Bronwen Maddox, Editor of Prospect; and David Willetts, Conservative MP for Havant and Minister of State for Universities and Science.
International Publication of the Year
This award covers publications by think tanks not based in the UK. The US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was commended by judges for its report, “Iran’s Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks.” This was described as “original and interesting” for its suggestion that the only possible solution is a peaceful diplomatic settlement with Iran. The international…