In no particular order, below is a fairly comprehensive set of reasons:
1) To publicise TWS research. Above all we hope to raise the profile of TWS research output. The hope is that blog posts by authors and guest speakers about our policy papers can push them out to a wider audience, both within the Cambridge student community and in policy circles. Inspiration here comes from standalone blogs putting out research, such as LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog, as well as efforts to do this by other thinktanks, including the Adam Smith Institute’s excellent blog.
2) To create a forum for Cambridge students to write about and comment on policy issues. There isn’t currently an online platform where Cambridge students can discuss detailed policy analysis. Naturally, we think there should be. Here, the idea is to follow higher-level journalism, as in, say, the ‘evidence based policy blogging’ of Left Foot Forward.
3) Raise the profile of TWS events. Most weeks during the Cambridge term we hold a panel discussion on research papers. Our annual setpiece event, the TWS conference, comes up in February, and we regularly run Ideas events. Hopefully posts about all of these will make sure that Cambridge students and other interested people are more aware of what TWS can offer.
4) Involve more TWS members in active work. The time commitment that comes from our main projects, policy papers, is fairly substantial, especially for new members who don’t know what to expect from TWS. Blogging is a no-strings-attached say of starting work with TWS, simply because it requires no commitment beyond a post, so can ideally become a good introduction to TWS. Any member can write for us, without being tied down to any more work.
There are probably other reasons, and no doubt these will evolve as the blog progresses, but this is hopefully a good illustration of what we’ve set out to do. Have a look at our contributions section to get involved, and follow us over Twitter, Facebook, or via email updates.
Thanks for reading,
Jonathon Hazell (Director of Online Media and Blog Editor)