Research briefings

Discover policy-relevant LSE research

A selection of the latest research on policy priorites across the social sciences

Business, Energy and the Economy

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Dr Giulia Claudia Leonelli builds on her evidence to the House of Lords International Agreements Committee to explore how CPTPP procedure relating to trade could impact the UK's sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards and what the Government should do to safeguard the UK's levels of human, animal and plant health protection in the future.

HMRC Data Collection

Research by Dr Andy Summers explains why the draft Finance Bill 2023-24 and its new requirements on businesses to provide information to HMRC do not go far enough, and how it could be improved to ensure that accurate, relevant and useful data is collected.

Communities, Housing, Local Government and Transport

Foreign Direct Investment and Levelling Up

Levelling up can be achieved only if economic and investment opportunities are spread across the UK. Professor Riccardo Crescenzi asks: how can trade and foreign direct investment play a part in delivering opportunities for growth? What is the role of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in levelling up? 

Technology, Culture, Media and Sport

Intimate Image Abuse and "Wrongful Observation"

Recent legislation has cracked down on intimate image abuse, targeting those who take or share these images without consent. But should we also hold to account those who knowingly consume so-called "revenge porn"? Why should this digital voyeurism be treated differently to that which takes place in real life?

Truth, Trust and Technology Commission Recommendations 

The UK’s news media is changing quickly, and long-held tenets of independence, verification and accountability have been undermined by the variety of new ways of accessing information. LSE's Truth, Trust and Technology Commission has recommended how we can improve our understanding of the current media landscape, and what we should do to combat the challenges presented by these changes. 

Health and Social Care 

NHS Pharmaceutical Spending

The future of the NHS and its finances is an ever-present policy priority. As more new medicines come on to the market, Dr Huseyin Naci explores the effect of growing pharmaceutical spending on the NHS, and asks: what should be done to prevent resources being diverted away from other vital services?

Ending New Transmission of HIV

In 2019, the Government set a target to end new HIV transmissions and AIDS diagnoses by 2030. Dr Timothy Hildebrandt explores the importance of providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to those at high risk of contracting HIV, and public perceptions of such provision, in light of the 2030 ambition.

The Impact of Perfectionism on Mental Health

The last 25 years have seen the desire among young people to create, and portray, a "perfect" life intensifying at an alarming rate. How damaging is the impact of peer-induced perfectionism on young people's mental health? What can - and should - be done to mitigate this?

Children and Education

SEND and Local Area Deprivation

How do diagnoses and experiences of special educational needs and/or disabilities vary across the country? Are there enough resources to support children with SEND, and are they being distributed fairly? Are parents able to access adequate support?


What must policymakers consider to encourage take-up of apprenticeships and ensure that they continue to deliver social justice and economic growth?

Science Funding and Social Science Research

LSE research during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a vital contribution to public debate by, for example, exploring the effect of the pandemic on women, BAME communities, and self-employed people. This briefing demonstrates why investment to support research and development in UK universities should take into account the value of the social sciences alongside STEM disciplines.

Early Education Inequalities  

Inequalities experienced in early education can have life-long ramifications for the children experiencing them. Where and how is the system failing children from lower income families and other key groups? What policy initiatives can give children a more equitable start in life?

Life-long Impacts of SEN

Being diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN) at school has a multitude of short, medium and long-term effects on people's lives. LSE research shows that those diagnosed with SEN are more likely to suffer mental health concerns throughout their life, including an increased level of loneliness. 

Home Affairs, Work and Pensions

Two Decades of Changing Inequalities in the UK

This briefing outlines a nuanced picture of two decades of inequalities data from across the UK, from 1995/96 to 2015/16, with findings broken down by by age, ethnicity, region, housing tenure, and disability status. It attempts to answer the key question: who are some of the winners and losers of the last 20 years? 

How People Understand and Spend Benefits

How do working-age social security benefit recipients understand and use the money they receive? Dr Kate Summers offers a more detailed picture of the experiences of claimants, and sets out clear opportunities for the Government to improve the design and delivery of working-age benefits such as universal credit.

International and Defence

Golden Passports

As Dr Kristin Surak explains, "golden passport" schemes allow individuals to obtain citizenship in a country through significant financial contributions. Why is their popularity increasing? What can policymakers do to mitigate their far-reaching economic, social and political impacts?

The Ethics of Military Recruitment

In light of concerns about the size of the UK's armed forces, a new perspective from LSE argues that we must consider the ethics of its recruitment practices. Is the age of enlistment morally acceptable? How should the military be allowed to engage with schoolchildren? Are the benefits to personnel and veterans adequate to compensate for the risks of military service?