Policy Network

Policy Network is an international thinktank dedicated to promoting progressive policies and the renewal of social democracy. Launched in 2000 to facilitate the sharing of ideas and experiences among politicians, policymakers and experts on the centre-left, it seeks to inject new ideas into progressive politics that address the common challenges and opportunities of the global age.

Progressive governments and parties in industrialised countries are facing similar pressures. Perceived threats to economic, political and social security linked to globalisation, migration or climate change, and the limitations of traditional policy prescriptions in the light of rapid social and technological change, increasingly demand that progressives look beyond national borders to find common solutions.

Through its international programme of research, publications and events, Policy Network seeks to promote international best practice and provide innovative answers to shared problems, equipping social democrat modernisers with the intellectual tools necessary to meet the policy and political challenges of the 21st century.

The president of Policy Network is Peter Mandelson, secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, and former European commissioner for trade. Chair and vice chair are Giles Radice and Roger Liddle, respectively. The director is Olaf Cramme.


Policy Network’s origins began in 1999 with the launch of Progressive Governance Network of international policymakers and academics. Initiated by the then US President Bill Clinton, with the support of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the aim of the network was to enhance cooperation and links between key progressive policymakers and academics as well as to provide a meeting place for exchanging concrete policies and practices.

Following the Progressive Governance Summits in New York, Florence and Berlin, in 2000 Policy Network was officially launched as a thinktank dedicated to promoting progressive policies and the renewal of social democracy. Since its launch the work of Progressive Governance has continued to be central to Policy Network’s role, with major summits held Washington, Berlin, Stockholm, London, Budapest and Johannesburg, with the latest taking place in London in April 2008.

Alongside its work on Progressive Governance Policy Network has conducted research across a wide range of policy areas. Through 2005 and 2006 Policy Network conducted a major research initiative on the renewal of the European social model, with its work programme expanding in 2007 to include projects on immigration and social integration, public service reform and social justice in a globalised world. Our current work programmes include an EU “fit for purpose” in a global age; the politics of climate change; foresight: forging common futures in a multi-polar world; the myths and realities of labour migration; the future of social democracy; and globalisation and social justice. Find out more about our current work programmes.