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Writing for Policy Network

Guidelines for contributors

Starting point

The Policy Network Observatory promotes critical debate and reflection on progressive politics. The Observatory is a platform for leading academics and policy makers to present and apply their research to real-world social, political and economic problems. It is centre-left orientated but determinedly challenges social democracy. It is pro-European but restlessly questions EU institutions and practices.

In writing for the Policy Network Observatory, we encourage our authors to be critical and forthright about current settlements and positions, and to be equally challenging and provocative in putting forward new ideas and analyses.

The Policy Network Observatory is an online platform run with the goal of bringing academic research and fresh ideas (and applying them) to the policymaking and political world. It is read by politicians, academics, policymakers, journalists, opinion formers, business leaders, students, campaigners and the general interest reader.

Observatory articles are distributed via our newsletter (15,000+ subscribers) and social media platforms (14,000+ followers) to our international network and also to political parties, universities and political interest groups across the world. The Observatory has a wide-reaching readership stretching across the UK, Europe, the Americas, Australia and beyond.


  • We encourage contributors, where appropriate, to draw out the tension between policy proposals and the political barriers to implementation. Articles should always lean toward presenting critical analysis as opposed to descriptive background narrative.
  • Articles have more impact if the author clearly spells out the key argument or ‘hook’ at the beginning and end of the piece.
  • Observatory articles should be written in an informed, accessible and non-technical style. Jargon should be clearly explained. Please avoid complex or over-long sentences and paragraphs.
  • The audience is international; local knowledge should not be assumed. Please use UK English spelling, including –ise/-ising/-isation rather than –ize/-izing/-ization.
  • References, if necessary, should be included as hyperlinks or, if hyperlinks are not possible, as end notes.

Please be aware that the editors need to retain a degree of flexibility when it comes to publishing less time-sensitive pieces. The editors undertake to keep delays to a minimum and contributors informed of publication plans.