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Editorial, British Academy Review, Spring 2018

Welcome to this issue of the British Academy Review.

Published in British Academy Review, No. 32 (Spring 2018).


We regularly hear about the perceived fault lines in British society. But what holds societies together? The social psychologist Dominic Abrams reports on some specific work on social integration, as well as introducing us to the British Academy’s broader framework for research into ‘Cohesive Societies’.

Other articles in this issue consider particular forces that may jeopardise social cohesion. Maggie Snowling argues that we have to do more to prevent those with language-learning difficulties from being cut adrift. Jeffrey Howard asks whether freedom of speech should sometimes be limited when it threatens social harmony. John Kay reminds us of the disruptive jolt of the financial crisis which unfolded 10 years ago. John Burnside explores the risk of how a communal sense of tradition can be too readily swept away. And Chris Millington considers whether a society can sometimes survive political violence, when the unofficial rules of engagement are tacitly agreed.

The Modern Slavery Act became law in March 2015. In this issue’s cover story, Brad Blitz explains how a new British Academy research programme will examine the global production processes, supply chains and networks which cause so many people to be trapped in modern slavery.

Another story currently in the news is the Sergei Skripal affair. Gerasimos Tsourapas alerts us to the varied ways in which authoritarian regimes behave towards their own citizens living abroad.


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