History, Policy and Public Purpose

Historians and Historical Thinking in Government

  • Alix R. Green

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Alix R. Green
    Pages 1-9
  3. Alix R. Green
    Pages 65-91
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 125-146

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.

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.


Historiography Politics Political History Academics Public Scholarship

Authors and affiliations

  • Alix R. Green
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Central LancashireLancashireUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-52085-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-52086-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site