David Goodhart

David Goodhart
David Goodhart is Head of Policy Exchange’s Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit, and Director of the Integration Hub website. He is a former Director of Demos, and former Editor of Prospect magazine, which he founded in 1995. David is a prominent figure in public debate in the UK, as a well-known broadcaster, author, commentator, and journalist. He has presented several BBC Radio 4 Analysis programmes. Before Prospect, he was a correspondent for the Financial Times, including a stint in Germany during the unification period. In 2013, he published The British Dream, a book about post-war multiculturalism, national identity, and immigration. It was runner up for the Orwell Book Prize in 2014. In 2017 he published The Road to Somewhere: The new tribes shaping British politics, about the value divides in western societies, which was a Sunday Times best-seller. His latest book is Head, Hand, Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century. Since the end of 2020 he has been a commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the views expressed here are his own

Related News

Policy Exchange experts dominate MPs’ reading list

Two of Policy Exchange’s experts are among the most read authors in Parliament, a new Freedom of Information request has revealed. Road to Somewhere, by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart (longlisted for this year’s Orwell Prize) was the second most borrowed book in the House of Commons, behind only ‘How Parliament Works’. The Head of our Britain in the World Project Professor John Bew’s Orwell Prize-winning Citizen Clem was also one of the most borrowed books in the House of Commons in 2017. Both books were named last year by the Observer among their 100 best political books.

Policy Exchange's David Goodhart interviewed on CapX

David Goodhart — Head of Demography, Immigration, and Integration — talks about his views on society, the upcoming election, and his latest book,The Road to Somewhere, which was recently launched at Policy Exchange. In the interview, CapX's Robert Colville describes Goodhart's book as 'precisely of its time', claiming that it is 'at once an explanation for why so many people have become so disillusioned with politics, and a prescription for what to do about it'

David Goodhart writes about his new book in the FT

David Goodhart — Policy Exchange's Head of Demography, Immigration, and Integration — explains how he has 'changed [his] mind, slowly, about modern liberalism'.

May Promises a Bit More State and a Little Less 'Anything Goes'

David Goodhart, Policy Exchange's Head of Demography, Immigration, and Integration, and Director of the Integration Hub website, discusses the Prime Minister's 'pitch to working-class voters'. He concludes that 'the condescending liberal graduates will no longer set the political tone'.

Here's how to reform immigration to ensure better paid, better trained Britons

Policy Exchange's David Goodhart writes for the Daily telegraph on how to reform Britain's immigration system to improve training and skills.

One in four would take a pay cut to curb migration: Poll reveals EU population movement is voters' priority

The Daily Mail reports on Policy Exchange's new poll on Brexit and attitudes towards immigration.

Max Hastings reports on Policy Exchange's "Immigration and Integration After Brexit"

Following Policy Exchange's briefing paper Immigration and Integration After Brexit Max Hastings' describes the report as “required reading for our new government”.

A vote against the mass immigration society

David Goodhart, head of the Demography, immigration and integration unit at Policy Exchange, writes for Prospect about mass immigration and the consequences of the referendum.

Five Point Plan for Immigration Reform, Prior to Free Movement Change

David Goodhart, head of the Demography, immigration and integration unit at Policy Exchange, writes about the immigration challenges facing the next Prime Minister.

Policy Exchange’s latest hire shows that integration is now a key government issue

The Spectator covers the launch of the new Demography, Immigration and Integration Unit at Policy Exchange.

Related Publications

The future is safe and legal

Download Publication Online Reader This report calls for a new safe and legal route for genuine refugees – which would only come into effect once illegal Channel crossings have dropped to below 10,000 a year. Under the plan put forward by David Goodhart, the number of refugees admitted under this new route would be set by an annual cap from Parliament – placing the asylum system under democratic control. It […]

Compassionate but Controlled

  Download Publication   Online Reader This paper argues that to enjoy public confidence, the Government’s immigration policy needs to be led by three main principles:  popular benefit, a focus on short-term migration and real control There was no need for further liberalisation of immigration rules, outside of niche areas such as agriculture and social care, even before Thursday’s announcement of record net immigration. Employers rather than complaining about labour […]

Whatever happened to integration?

Download Publication The decline of the White British population in inner-city Britain appears to have halted and may even have reversed, according to a new report on ethnic integration and segregation. The new demographic analysis for Policy Exchange by the Webber Phillips data analytics group confirms that neighbourhood segregation has been slowly declining for most ethnic minority groups as they spread out from inner-city heartlands into the suburbs but it […]

Technical Breakthrough

Download Publication Online Reader Edward Peck argues that most of the renewed investment in technical skills should be delivered by universities and especially new universities like his own, Nottingham Trent. He makes an imaginative pitch for a repurposing of parts of higher education and for something like the reinvention of “applied universities”, the old polytechnics in new form. Related Publications

The Training We Need Now

Vocational education and training, especially for those not heading to university, has been one of the biggest public policy failures of the last 25 years. The Covid-19 economic crisis, and how we emerge from it, is an opportunity to do something about it. The essays in this collection focus on several different aspects of the problem: the lack of decent apprenticeships for school-leavers, the loss of higher manual and technical skills and the decline

A training opportunity in the crisis

The coronavirus crisis underlines the need for an education and training system that is better aligned with the economic and social needs of the UK, says David Goodhart in this research paper. We can no longer afford the luxury of a wasteful mismatch produced by low value degrees and a disorganised approach to vocational training. The current crisis also offers an opportunity to cut through many of the normal blockages and vested interests, not least since we may – in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – be moving into a period of high unemployment, which will require a radical rethinking of current policy. This paper sets out three reforms that would help to improve the UK’s training and education.

The Border Audit

Brexit and the ending of free movement, the persistent problem of illegal immigration and the need to avoid any repeat of the Windrush scandal, have combined to put some kind of national identity system right back on the political agenda. One option would be to roll out the ID management system now being developed for the 3.6m EU citizens to everyone. The border should also be a higher priority for future public investment, according to a new report by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart, The Border Audit: A post-Windrush review.

Immigration After Brexit

A post-Brexit immigration system should clamp down on low-skilled EU immigration but adopt a lighter-touch approach for students and professionals, argues Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration, David Goodhart, in a new paper Immigration After Brexit. As Britain considers its long term immigration needs, there is scope to maintain a high level of continuity for groups such as EU students and tourists. There should be a customised “light touch” work permit system for EU professionals and — as Britain weans itself off low skilled migration — there should be priority for low skilled workers ready to work antisocial hours, thereby acting more as complements than direct competitors to the British workforce.

Unsettled Belonging: A survey of Britain’s Muslim communities

This new report — by Dr Martyn Frampton, David Goodhart, and Khalid Mahmood — involves the most extensive research of British Muslims ever conducted, and 'finds they broadly share the same views as the rest of the population'.

Bittersweet Success? Glass Ceilings for Britain’s Ethnic Minorities at the Top of Business and the Professions

This major new Policy Exchange report on ethnic minority progression at the top of business and the professions is a story of glass half full and glass half empty

Immigration & Integration After Brexit

David Goodhart, head of Demography, Immigration & Integration, explores how Brexit is an opportunity to reboot policy thinking on immigration and integration.

Integration Index

David Goodhart, head of Policy Exchange's Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit, looks at varying levels of integration based on location in England and Wales.

Related Blogs

Tony Sewell, Baron Sewell of Sanderstead

There are many roads to the House of Lords. Few have been as long and rocky as that trod by Baron Sewell of Sanderstead, better known as Tony Sewell, chair of the 2021 Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. Tony was introduced to the Lords last week by two Conservative peers, Neil Mendoza, provost of Oriel College, Oxford and Dean Godson. He told me that as a “Church of England […]

The Census and Modern Britain

Much of the data from the new census release on ethnicity was already widely expected and foreseen in the Policy Exchange report Whatever Happened to Integration? from March this year.  However, our report may have somewhat underestimated the scale of the change, with the white British decline slightly greater than expected while growth in the South Asian population accelerated a little and the black populations grew at a constant rate. The share of the population of England […]

Does the Levelling Up White Paper herald the Government’s conversion to social democracy?

Rarely can such an exemplary Government White Paper have been launched into such a cynical political mood. Yet reading the levelling up White Paper yesterday I found my belief in politics as a rational pursuit briefly restored. The paper is probably the most comprehensive of its kind from a Government on this subject. It is unusually clearly written for an official document, although It could have been more user-friendly in […]

Time to ban the graduate only job? The era of the indiscriminate expansion of higher education is at an end

It increasingly looks like the end of an era for Britain’s bloated higher education sector. For the past 30 years parents and young people have seen higher education as the only route to safety and success, as a growing number of mainstream jobs became graduate only. The economist Stephen Davies puts it neatly: higher education shifted from being a consumption good to an investment good. Yet the Government’s welcome new […]

The poor whites that politics forgot

If you were at school in Barnsley in the 1970s, you would have had a sense of sitting on top of one of the most important coalfields in Europe, and one that was helping to power your country. If you were a boy who was not academically gifted, you would have almost certainly walked straight into an apprenticeship and then into a reasonably well-paid skilled or semi-skilled manual job. A […]

The Sewell commission is a game-changer for how Britain talks about race

“This Commission finds that the big challenge of our age is not overt racial prejudice, it is building on and advancing the progress won by the struggles of the past 50 years. This requires us to take a broader, dispassionate look at what has been holding some people back. We therefore cannot accept the accusatory tone of much of the current rhetoric on race, and the pessimism  about what has been and what […]

Why universities had to be challenged

It is now official. The helter skelter expansion of UK higher education ushered in 21 years ago by Tony Blair’s pledge to send half of school leavers to university is now at an end. And the announcement by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, came not a moment too soon. The headlong rush into mass academic higher education, leapfrogging even the US, happened faster in the UK than in most other comparable countries and it seemed to happen on automatic pilot, with remarkably little thought given to the economic or social consequences. The only serious debate we ever had was on tuition fees.

Facts vs feelings in the BLM debate

George Floyd’s appalling murder and the global outrage it triggered has evolved into a broader protest about black disadvantage and racism in western countries. Many people of goodwill, including many white people, have joined marches in the UK. Young friends of mine who have been on the marches tell me I should tread carefully writing about the issue because I cannot know what it feels like to be black in Britain.

Surprisingly good news in the hate crime figures

The figures just published do not signify an actual increase in incidents of hate.

Immigration after Brexit

Policy Exchange’s David Goodhart takes a look at the latest report on immigration policy post-Brexit and finds much to support – with a few questions remaining.

Moving Forward on Integration

Policy Exchange's Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration, David Goodhart, responds to the Government's green paper on integration.

Why Culture Trumps Skills: Public opinion on immigration

In a joint response to the Home Office report on immigration for Policy Exchange, David Goodhart and Professor Eric Kauffman draw on new polling which shows people are more hostile to immigration that they percieve will change the culture of their communities.

Welcome for government’s ethnic outcome audit — but a warning too

Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration, David Goodhart, and our Research Fellow Dr Richard Norrie welcome today’s publication of a wide range of data on outcomes for ethnic minorities in Britain today. They warn that this data must not be used to “fuel division based on selective analysis of statistics” and say that “successes as well as failures must be acknowledged”. Concluding that “the analysis does not always flow self-evidently from the data”, they call for further work to be done to understand how factors like age, geography and wealth interact with ethnicity.

Accentuating the negative on race

Has the decline in racial prejudice in Britain really stopped? A semi-official report last week claimed that “there is no clear liberalising trend in racial prejudice” and it was widely and uncritically followed up in the media. But as this blog by David Goodhart and Richard Norrie of Policy Exchange’s Demography unit argues this claim is based on a highly selective reading of the data. The report also provides scant evidence for its claim that prejudice is a significant cause of racial disadvantage.

Indiscriminate on Discrimination

David Goodhart, Policy Exchange's Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration and Richard Norrie, Policy Exchange Demography, Immigration and Integration Research Fellow, respond to the publication of two Government commissioned reviews last week, both related to the life chances of minorities. The Lammy Review, led by David Lammy MP, investigated the treatment of and outcomes for ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system and a report by the Social Mobility Commission looking at the economic chances of young Muslims.

One and a half cheers for the Integration APPG

David Goodhart – Policy Exchange Head of Demography, Immigration & Integration – responds to the new report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration. He also appeared on BBC News to discuss the report.

The cost of cutting immigration

David Goodhart — Head of Policy Exchange’s Demography, Immigration, and Integration unit — reflects on whether there is an economic cost attached to the Government’s aim of reducing immigration to ‘tens of thousands’. He argues that the connection between economic growth and high immigration is not at all clear and that the future fiscal contribution of immigrants depends on who comes

Reflections on the Coming Brexit Labour Market Disaster (Or Not)

David Goodhart — Policy Exchange's Head of Demography, Immigration, and Integration — responds to the way in which the business pages have covered the labour-market consequences of Brexit. He contends that, while the coverage has been 'overwhelmingly gloomy', it has also, 'between the lines, been grudgingly optimistic'. 

White self-interest is not same thing as racism

David Goodhart – Policy Exchange’s Head of the Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit – argues that accepting that all groups have legitimate interests fosters mutual understanding

Policy Exchange's David Goodhart comments on the Casey Review

David Goodhart — Head of Demography, Immigration, and Integration at Policy Exchange — comments on the Casey Review

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