David Hume Institute

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Group.png David Hume Institute WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Formation 1985
Founder • Alan Peacock
• Gerald Elliot
Type think tank
SubpageDavid Hume Institute/Publications

The David Hume Institute (DHI) was founded in Edinburgh in 1985 by Professor Sir Alan Peacock, who also became its first Executive Director, and the industrialist Gerald Elliot, then Chairman of Christian Control Salvesen, an international logistics business. The DHI was, according to Elliot, 'modelled' on the London based Institute of Economic Affairs.[1]

Origins and history

'In 1984, Professor Alan Peacock returned to Edinburgh with the vision of creating a new independent research institute', according to the account of John Shaw a trustee of the DHI.[2] It would be 'distinctive' in having a Scottish base, 'an agenda linking economics and the law and would be vigorously independent of government'.[3] By 1985 'a Chairman and Board of Trustees had been identified, a President appointed and funding secured.'[4] Peacock was the first Executive director and Elliot the first president.

Peacock's proposal

'On 30 December 1983', Peacock, who was then Vice Chancellor and Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham, 'wrote a paper proposing the foundation of an institute of economics and law' which was the blueprint for the DHI.[5] Peacock's paper noted 'three good reasons' for starting a new think tank or 'research institute' as he called it. These were firstly dependence on 'direct government funding' leading to problems of publishing research 'without the permission of the relevant government department'; secondly, concentration in London leading sometimes to a 'metropolitan perspective'; and thirdly a lack of concentration on 'micro-economics and its application to policy problems'.[6] This was the most obviously ideological of the reasons and referred to the 'strong emotional resistance' to the application of micro-economics to 'non-profit institutions' - or government and the public sector to be more accurate. This was because, argued Peacock, 'the policy implications frequently point towards the futility of government policies directed at controlling of influencing particular markets'. Such conclusions he went on 'threaten the job opportunities of a large proportion of the working population as well as those economists who play a role in devising interventionist instruments'.[7] In other words the aim of the institute was to break with those approaches and to advocate attacks on the state, the public sector and the jobs of a 'large proportion' of the working population. Peacock goes on to note that it is to the 'great credit' of the Institute of Economic Affairs and its supporters that 'policy makers have become much more mindful of the importance of market forces'.[8]

Peacock's vision is more overtly ideological when he refers to 'intellectual movements' such as the 'US economists, under the intellectual leadership of George Stigler', who have 'revolutionised the approach to the development of economic legislation'. Arguing that his proposed institute might perform such a role he states that such 'intellectual movements which have had a major influence on policy have no counterpart in the UK'.[9]

Before setting up the DHI, Peacock was Professor of Economics at York University and Vice Chancellor of the independent (ie private) University of Buckingham. He also sat on a number of committees: for example, he was chairman of the Home Office Committee on Financing the BBC between 1985 and 1986, where he proposed making subscription to the BBC voluntary and to bring more market mechanisms into the broadcasting sector. When, in 2004, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), where Peacock was a Fellow, gave an address on the same topic, it boasted that Peacock's ideas were now being "discussed by several commentators, including experts from the BBC and Ofcom".[10] Peacock was member of various other UK Government and international Commissions and served as Chief Economic Adviser in the UK Department of Trade and Industry between 1973-76.

Early days

According to the account of Jock Snaith:

In its earliest days the institute was a creature of no fixed abode. we met in the University Staff club, chez Peacock or chez blight. The official address was my house in Penicuik and the administration was carried out from a corner of my room there. My wife was rightly suspicious of this intrusion, for she had memories of the early days of the University of Dar es Salaam which started in the dining room of our house there and soon spread to the bedrooms. The institute's letters and papers were typed either on my ancient portable or by a lady who lived on the other side of Penicuik. As she predicted my wife soon became an unpaid courier/receptionist and proof-reader.[11]

According to Snaith the registration of the Institute at Companies House in Edinburgh caused some concern as 'the word Institute is one of the most sensitive words that the Secretary of State considers'. Clearly under some suspicion that the DHI would abuse the word by registering as a company, the prospective founders procured references from Ralph Harris and Lord Grimond.[12]

Northern neoliberal outpost

Peacock was Executive director of the Institute from 1985 to 1991,[13] when Hector MacQueen took over.

In 1995 Professor Brian Main, who in 2002 was official advisor of the Scottish Parliament Justice Committees One and Two, joined the Institute as 'Executive Director', at which point MacQueen became simply a 'director'.[14] Main was replaced by Jeremy Peat in June 2005. Peat served as Group Chief Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland and was economist at the HM Treasury and the Scottish Office. He is also on the Board of Governors of BBC Scotland.

It is an interesting move to fill the position formerly held by an academic with a professional economist who has 'extensive connections with business and areas of government in Scotland and further afield'. Peat's appointment probably will push the DHI into a more business-oriented direction and will open new sources of sponsorship.

The DHI's board of trustees unites the who's who of the Scottish policy community: senior journalists, members of the Scottish Parliament's Corporate Body Audit and Advisory Board, the CEO of TSB Scotland and a high official of the Rowntree Foundation. The DHI commissions external researchers as it does not employ full time research staff.

Activities

The DHI hardly pursues any local, national or international cooperation with other think-tanks or research institutions. The only ongoing cooperation is to be found with the Europa Institute of the University of Edinburgh. Though Diane Stone describes the DHI as an advocacy institute which is part of a wider epistemic community of privatisation and as the Adam Smith Institute's Scottish counterpart, today it has neither the interest nor the ability in a wider cooperation with other like-minded institutions'[15]

In 2004, the DHI's director stated that it was struggling to get press attention, because of the media's commercial structure: the 'press generally want you to say something quite sensational, political, and we... are generally not talking in those terms'. Such media relations were left to institutes which 'are more politically oriented. [..] to be pejorative, some of them are for people who actually want to be MPs or politicians'.[16]

People

Advisory Council 1996

Professor Norman Barry University of Buckingham | Professor Richard Dale University of Southampton | Professor Bruno Frey University of Zurich | Professor Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach | Professor Robert Jack University of Glasgow | Professor Keith Lumsden University of Edinburgh | Professor Paul McAvoy University of Rochester | Professor Donald Mackay University of Edinburgh | Professor Anthony Ogus University of Manchester | Professor Charles Rowley University of Fairfax | Professor Pedro Schwartz University of Madrid | Professor Andrew Skinner University of Glasgow | Linda Whetstone Atlas Foundation [17]

Board of Trustees at 1996

Catherine Blight | Gerald Elliot | Nick Kuenssberg | Lady Mackenzie-Stuart | Prof. Hector MacQueen | Prof. John Murray | Prof. Sir Alan Peacock | Prof. Sir John Shaw | Prof. John Ward

Staff

Director Prof. Hector MacQueen | Executive Director: Brian Main | Executive Director and Secretary Gillian Lomas Personal Assistant Kathryn Mountain[18]

Trustees in 2003

Mr. Robert Bertram WS | Mr John Elliot | Mr. Andrew Ferguson | Mr. Nick Kuenssberg | Miss Eileen Mackay CB (Chairman) | Professor Duncan Maclennan CBE | Professor Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae | Professor John Murray QC | Mrs Susan Rice | Sir John Shaw CBE, FRSE | Professor David Simpson | Professor Joan Stringer CBE FRSE[19]

Board of Trustees 2004

Robert Bertram, currently a member of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body's Audit and Advisory Board[20] | Jo Elliot | Gavin Kennedy | Nick Kuenssberg | Andrew Ferguson | Isabelle Low, formerly a Scottish Executive civil servant, is now Deputy Chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland[21] | Ken Lyall | Eileen Mackay | Hector MacQueen | Donald MacRae | John Murray QC | Joan Stringer CBE | Susan Rice, chief executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, was a member of HM Treasury's Policy Action Team on access to financial services. She is also a member of the Foresight Sub-Committee on Retail Finance, on the board of Scottish Business in the Community, and a member of the Scottish Advisory Task Force on the New Deal [22] | Professor Duncan MacLennan worked for the Rowntree Foundation and has provided advice to the World Bank, the European Commission and the European Parliament[23]

Board of Trustees March 2005

Mr. Robert Bertram WS | Mr John Elliot | Mr. Andrew Ferguson | Mr. Nick Kuenssberg | Dr Isabelle Low | Miss Eileen Mackay CB (Chairman) | Professor Duncan Maclennan CBE | Professor Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae | Professor John Murray QC | Mrs Susan Rice | Professor David Simpson | Professor Joan Stringer[24]

Trustees at February 2006

Mr. Robert Bertram WS | Mr Jo Elliot | Mr. Andrew Ferguson | Professor Gavin Kennedy | Mr. Nick Kuenssberg | Dr Isabelle Low | Dr Ken Lyall | Miss Eileen Mackay CB (Chairman) | Professor Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae | Professor John Murray QC | Professor David Simpson | Professor Joan Stringer CBE FRSE

Trustees at May 2008

Mr. Robert Bertram WS | Ms Kyla Brand | Mr Jo Elliot | Professor Gavin Kennedy | Mr. Nick Kuenssberg | Dr Isabelle Low | Dr Ken Lyall | Miss Eileen Mackay CB (Chairman) | Professor Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae FRSE | Professor John Murray QC | Mr Karl Snowden |Professor Joan Stringer[25]

Trustees at February 2009

Mr. Robert Bertram WS | Ms Kyla Brand | Mr Jo Elliot | Lord Hodge | Professor Gavin Kennedy | Dr Ken Lyall | Sir Ian Byatt (Chairman) | Professor Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae FRSE | Mr Ian Ritchie | Mr Karl Snowden | Professor Joan Stringer CBE FRSE | Mr Donald Workman[26]

Trustees at June 2010

Mr Robert Bertram WS | Ms Kyla Brand | Prof Alice Brown | Mr Jo Elliot | Lord Hodge | Prof Gavin Kennedy | Dr Ken Lyall | Sir Ian Byatt (Chairman) | Prof Hector MacQueen FRSE | Professor Donald MacRae | Prof Anton Muscatelli | Mr Ian Ritchie | Mr Karl Snowden | Prof Joan Stringer CBE FRSE | Mr David Wilson | Mr Donald Workman[27]

Staff

Director Mr Jeremy Peat | Development Director Catriona Laing | Academic Director Professor Brian Main

Honorary Presidents

Lord Sutherland of Houndwood (2005 - ) | Professor Sir Alan Peacock, FBA, FRSE (2002-2005) | Lord Mackay of Clashfern, KT, PC (1999-2002) | Sir Samuel Brittan, (1996-1998) | Judge David Edward, CMG, QC (1992-1995) European Court of Justice | Judge Thijmen Koopmans (1988-1991) Court of Justice of the European Communities | Professor George Stigler (1984-1987) Nobel Laureate in Economics

Honorary Vice Presidents

Circa 1996: Professor James Buchanan Nobel Laureate in Economics | Professor Francesco Forte | Professor Neil MacCormick, FBA, FRSE | Mr. Allan Massie

Honorary Trustees

Mrs. Catherine Blight | Sir Gerald Elliot FRSE | Lady Anne Mackenzie-Stuart | Professor Sir Alan Peacock FBA, FRSE | Sir John Shaw CBE, FRSE

Funding

1985-1995

The DHI recorded the following as supporters in its first decade of 1985-95: 'support has been forthcoming in the form of subscriptions, both corporate and individual, substantial and generous donations from various institutions, trusts and other benefactors, and grants and occasional sponsorship in respect of particular activities, most notably the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust and the Binks Trust'[28] The following list is given by the DHI as 'major grants and sponsorship':

Alexander Consulting Group | Alexander Stenhouse | Atlas Foundation | Baillie Gifford & Co | Bank of Scotland | Bell Lawrie Macgregor | British Petroleum | Clydesdale Bank | Matrtin Currie Investment Management | Dunedin Fund Managers Ltd | James Finlay plc | Ivory and Sime plc | Sir Maxwell Harper Gow | National Westminster Bank | Murray Johnstone & Co | Joseph Rowntree Foundation | Christian Salvesen plc | Scope (Political Studies) Ltd | Scottish Provident | Scottish Unit Managers | Shanks and McEwan Group plc | Shell UK Ltd | Transport Development Group | Binks Trust | Craignish Trust | Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust | Hoare Trust | Hugh Fraser Foundation | Royal Bank of Scotland | Russell Trust | Wincott Foundation | United Biscuits | United Distillers[29]

2000-2004

'Between 2000 and 2004', according to Hartwig Pautz, 'the DHI received financial sponsorship from blue chip corporations including the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB Scotland and Standard Life. The academic background of the DHI is reflected in the sponsorship by the ESRC and Edinburgh University's Europa Institute. Some individuals, including a member of the board of the SCDI and a Scotsman journalist, were also among the financial contributors.[30]

Financial sponsorship for events from 2000 to 2006

  • Economic & Social Research Council: 23 November 2006 - "Policy making in a devolved environment" ; 10 October 2006 - "Does size matter? - An investigation of the link between post-devolution growth in public spending and Scottish economic performance" ; 2 November 2005 - 'Gordon Brown and the public finances: sticking to the rules?' ; 5 October 2005 - 'The Sociology of Finance. When genius failed - revisited.' ; 20 June 2005 - 'Does Public Sector Wage Setting Constrain Devolution?'; 24 February 2005 - 'The Risk Management of everything. Rethinking the politics of uncertainty'; 11 November 2004 - "Making Executive Pay Work: remuneration committees and their effectiveness"; 27 October 2004 - "Improving Public Services: targets, performance and other regulatory arrangements"; Seminar 23 June 2004 - 'The Simultaneous Fall and Rise of Mutuality'; Spring Seminar Series 2003 "Diseminating the Results of ESRC Research"
  • The Stewart Ivory Foundation: 23 May 2006 - "Is Britain well served by it's financial press" ; 28 April 2005 - 'Global Markets, Investment, Management and the Role of Financial Reporting' ; Seminar 9 September 2004 - "Restoring Trust - Investment in the twenty-first century"; Spring Seminar Series 2004; 12 February 2004 - "The Private Finance Initiative. From the foundations up" | 18 March 2004 - "The Equitable Life Report"; Spring Seminar Series 2002 "Fund Management - Twenty-First Century Challenges"
  • Scottish Water Commission: 19 April 2006 - "Balancing regulation and competition in the water business in Scotland"
  • Joint Event with the Securities & Investment Institute: 14 March 2006 - "Trust and Integrity: Principles and Practice"
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: 1 March 2006 (Annual Lecture) - 'The European Union and the Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth'; Hume Lecture 7 October 2004 (Lecture and Publication) "Regulation and Politics: The need for a new dialogue"; Presidential Address 8 March 2001(Lecture and Publication) "Are Lawyers Parasites?"
  • Standard Life: 9 February 2006 - "The appropriate role of Government in the provision of pensions. Some insights drawn from the Second Report of the Pensions Commission"; Publication of Hume Lecture "The European Union and the Nation State"
  • The Scottish Economic Society & The Royal Society Of Edinburgh: 24 March 2005 - 'The Globalization of Labour Markets and the consequences for Economic Policy'
  • The Binks Trust: 27 May 2004 - "The Future of the Scottish Fishing Industry"; Spring Seminar Series 2004; 22 April 2004 - "Tilting at Windmills. The economics of wind power"
  • Mr Andrew Ferguson: Spring Seminar Series 2004, 11 March 2004 - "NHS Scotland versus NHS England. Lesson to be learned"; Autumn Seminar Series 2000 "Economic and Monetary Union"
  • Cairn Energy: Presidential Address 2003
  • Europa Institute: Human Rights Legislation Seminar (Nov 2003)
  • Noble & Co.: PFI Seminar (Mar 2003)
  • The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation: Autumn Seminar Series 2002 "Has Devolution Delivered?"
  • Lloyds TSB Scotland: Hume Lecture 7 March 2002 (Lecture and Publication) "Hume, Liberty and the Market - a Twenty-First Century Perspective "
  • Sir Alan Peacock: Autumn Seminar Series 2001 "Establishing Competitive Economic Advantage in the Scottish Economy."
  • Shepherd & Wedderburn: 7 November 2006 - "BBC Governance and Accountability - the new regime"; Spring Seminar Series 2001 "Regulation"
  • Bank of Scotland: Hume Lecture 18 May 2000 "The European Union and the Nation State"

Affiliations

In the Stockholm Network's 2004 publication, Eye on Europe (Issue 1, Summer 2004), the David Hume Institute is listed as a member.[31] However, the David Hume Institute is no longer listed as a member of the Stockholm Network on the Network website of May 2010.[32]

Publications, Reading, Resources, Contact, Notes

Publications

The Institute has published several series of papers and reports and assorted other material. A full list is available here: David Hume Institute: Publications.

Further reading

  • Stone, Diane. (2003) Think-tanks and the Privatisation Band-Wagon in: Lovenduski,J. and Stanyer, J. (eds). Contemporary Political Studies; Belfast: Political Studies Association, Vol. 1, 1995
  • Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1996) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Norwich : Page Bros Ltd.

Resources



References

  1. Gerald Elliot 'Brief History: 1985-1995' in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 7
  2. John Shaw 'The first Decade: Foreword', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 1
  3. John Shaw 'The First Decade: Foreword', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 1
  4. Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 2
  5. John Shaw 'The first Decade: Foreword', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 1
  6. Alan Peacock 'A Vision of the Institute', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 3
  7. Alan Peacock 'A Vision of the Institute', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 3-4
  8. Alan Peacock 'A Vision of the Institute', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 4
  9. Alan Peacock 'A Vision of the Institute', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 5
  10. Public Service Broadcasting Without the BBC?, IEA website, 9 Mar 2005, accessed in web archive 10 May 2010.
  11. Jock Snaith, 'Hume starts to hum', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 9
  12. Snaith, op cit, p. 10
  13. Buckingham University Alan Peacock, accessed 10 June 2010
  14. Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 1
  15. (Stone 1995, 22)
  16. Interview with Brian Main cited in Hartwig Pautz 'Think-Tanks in Scotland' Paper for 55th Political Studies Association Annual Conference 4-7 April 2005 - University of Leeds
  17. Nick Kuenssberg and Gillian Lomas (Eds) The David Hume Institute: The First Decade, Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute, 1996.
  18. Nick Kuenssberg and Gillian Lomas (Eds) The David Hume Institute: The First Decade, Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute, 1996.
  19. David Hume Institute Homepage, Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 14 August 2003 on 11 June 2010
  20. Robert Bertram Accessed 17 November 2004
  21. Scottish Executive 'Accounts Commission for Scotland' News Releases This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007, 20/03/2007, accessed 10 June 2010
  22. Susan Rice Accessed 17 November 2004
  23. Duncan MacLennan Accessed 17 November 2004)
  24. David Hume Institute Personnel, Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 5 March 2005 on 14 June 2010
  25. David Hume Institute Personnel, Retrieved from the Internat Archive of 27 may 2008 on 12 June 2010
  26. http://www.davidhumeinstitute.com/, accessed 13 February 2009
  27. Screengrab of David Hume Institute Homepage, on 11 June 2010
  28. 'Finances and Programme', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 74-5
  29. 'Finances and Programme', in Kuenssberg, Nick and Lomas, Gillian. (eds) (1995) The David Hume Institute. The First Decade. Edinburgh: The David Hume Institute p. 74-5
  30. Hartwig Pautz 'Think-Tanks in Scotland' Paper for 55th Political Studies Association Annual Conference 4-7 April 2005 - University of Leeds
  31. Member Organisations, Eye on Europe, Stockholm Network, Summer 2004, Issue no 1, acc 10 May 2010
  32. Think tank details, Stockholm Network website, acc 10 May 2010