Political and Economic Planning

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Political and Economic Planning wiki was a British policy think tank that was formed in 1931. "PEP was created in response to the depression in Great Britain in the 1930s. Max Nicholson, then assistant editor of the Week-End Review, wrote a supplement to the Review in February 1931 entitled: A National Plan for Great Britain. This plan aimed to improve the country's economic, political and social condition and contained many pioneering ideas which are familiar to us today.

"A number of people, who were either involved in drafting the plan or who were impressed by it, came together with the belief that sensible planning could overcome Britain's decline. They came up with the idea of forming a permanent research body to enquire into the problems of the day and to use facts to formulate possible solutions to these problems.

"PEP carried out studies into the various issues and problems which have affected the country over the years including employment, transport, race relations, the welfare state, the Common Market and trade. Some of the work carried out was particularly influential. For example, in 1937, PEP published reports on the health services. Among the recommendations was that of a National Health Service, a proposal taken up later in the Beveridge Report. The 1967 PEP report of surveys carried out to measure the extent of racial discrimination in Britain convinced the government that the 1965 Race Relations Act needed to be extended by a second Act. Over the years, PEP developed into a professional research institute, using social research techniques to produce useful work for the formulation of policy.

"In 1978, it was decided that PEP should merge with the Centre for Studies in Social Policy. The two organisations had broadly similar interests, and the merger was seen as a way of increasing their ability to respond to the increasing number of problems arising in the country. The name Policy Studies Institute was chosen for the new institute, which came into existence on 31 March 1978." [1]

Other Background

Political and Economic Planning was "an influential independent think tank" run by the likes of Israel Sieff, Julian Huxley, Max Nicholson, Michael Young and Gerald Barry. Sybil McRobie "joined the staff of PEP at the same time as Peter Townsend, soon to become a brilliant sociologist." [2]

Leonard Elmhirst "was also closely involved with the independent Political and Economic Planning group, serving as a chairman and member of the PEP Executive between 1931 and 1972." [3]

Other people initially involved with PEP include Sir Basil Blackett, Sir Henry Bunbury, Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, Aldous Huxley, J.C. Pritchard, Sir Thomas Barlow, Noel Hall, Henry Clay, Thomas Jones, Sir Arthur Salter.[4]

Related Books

  • Sir Henry N. Bunbury, Formation of public policy in Britain published for British Information Services by the Central Office of Information, 1946.
  • Max Nicholson, Kenneth Lindsay, John Pinder (Editors), Fifty Years of Political and Economic Planning: Looking Forward, 1931-91 (Heinemann Educational Books, 1981).
  • Daniel Ritschel, "Political and Economic Planning: The PEP Group", in The politics of planning : the debate on economic planning in Britain in the 1930s (Clarendon Press, 1997).
  • Andrew Denham and Mark Garnett, "Influence without responsibility? Think-tanks in Britain", Parliam Aff (1999) 52 (1): 46-57.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Policy Studies Institute About, organizational web page, accessed April 1, 2012.
  2. Guardian Sybil McRobie, organizational web page, accessed March 2, 2012.
  3. Dartington Papers of Leonard Knight Elmhirst, organizational web page, accessed April 1, 2012.
  4. Daniel Ritschel, The Politics of Planning (1997), p.151.