|Categories||Politics, world affairs, arts and culture|
|First issue||October 1995|
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics, economics and current affairs. Topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology. It features a mixture of lengthy analytic articles, first-person reportage, one-page columns, and shorter, quirkier items.
Notable features of the magazine include head-to-head debates between two writers with opposing views on a subject; roundtable discussions, in which a series of experts with varying views on a given topic meet for a discussion, an edited transcript of which is published in the magazine; and interviews with major political and cultural figures (recent[when?] examples include Orhan Pamuk, Paul Wolfowitz, and Craig Venter). Prospect has also attempted to revitalise the art of the short story in Britain, by publishing new fiction in every issue, and by organising and sponsoring the National Short Story prize, the largest award in the world for a single story, which launched in 2004. The first award, of £15,000, went to James Lasdun in May 2005.
The magazine prizes independence over ideology and its articles and authors span the political spectrum. In recent years the magazine's founding editor, David Goodhart, has stirred controversy with a series of articles arguing that the increasing diversity of the United Kingdom may weaken the bonds of solidarity on which the welfare state depends. The debate fed into the broader discussions of "Britishness" that have become increasingly common in the public sphere.
Contributors include Lionel Shriver, A. C. Grayling, Gordon Brown, Mohamed ElBaradei, Michael Lind, Michael Ignatieff, Geoff Dyer, Francis Fukuyama, Roger Scruton, Margaret Atwood, Iain King, and J. M. Coetzee.
Prospect received worldwide attention in October 2005 when it published its list of the world's top 100 public intellectuals, which included Noam Chomsky, Umberto Eco, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Christopher Hitchens. The magazine asked readers to vote for their top intellectual from the longlist; Chomsky was the eventual winner. Subsequent lists have continued to attract attention. Dawkins claimed the top spot in 2013.
In August 2009 in a roundtable interview in Prospect, Adair Turner supported the idea of new global taxes on financial transactions, warning that a “swollen” financial sector paying excessive salaries has grown too big for society. Lord Turner’s suggestion that a "Tobin tax" - named after the economist James Tobin – should be considered for financial transactions reverberated around the world.
Prospect was launched in October 1995 by David Goodhart, then a senior correspondent for the Financial Times, and chairman Derek Coombs. Goodhart came up with the idea of producing an essay-based monthly general interest magazine—a form then unknown in Britain—while covering German reunification as Bonn correspondent for the FT.
The magazine tends to avoid a "line" on specific policy issues. Perhaps its strongest leaning is "contrarian" — it devotes much space to articles debunking the "popular wisdom," on topics ranging from Japan's alleged economic crisis to the Mahdi army in Iraq.[original research?]
The Think Tank Awards
Prospect holds the annual Think Tank Awards, which celebrate and reward the work of think tanks on a national and global scale. The awards are supported by Shell. Categories include 'Global Think Tank of the Year', 'Publication of the Year', 'North American Think Tank of the Year', 'European Think Tank of the Year' (excluding Britain), 'UK Think Tank of the Year', and many sub-categories for the UK. According to the official website, "The awards are judged by a cross-party panel looking for evidence of influence on public policy and on the public discourse. The judges will also consider the quality of research and potential of younger and smaller organisations." The awards have been running since 2001, and have been expanding exponentially to include more global awards for international Think Tanks. The winner of the most recent 2012 Think Tank awards (held at the Royal Society of Arts on 10 July) was Bruegel, based in Brussels, for their sophisticated and detailed analysis of the Eurozone crisis.
2013 UK Think Tank of the Year: The Resolution Foundation; European Think Tank of the Year: Istituto Bruno Leoni; International Publication of the Year: “Press Freedom in Turkey”; UK Energy and the environment Think Tank of the Year: Institute of Economic Affairs; UK Social Policy Think Tank of the Year: Centre for Social Justice; UK Economic and Financial Think Tank of the Year: CentreForum & Policy Exchange
2012: Global Think Tank of the Year: Bruegel UK Think Tank of the Year: Social Market Foundation. Publication of the Year: Resolution Foundation, “The Essential Guide to Squeezed Britain”. North America Think Tank of the Year: Carnegie Endowment; Runner-up: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments Europe (excluding UK) Think Tank of the Year: Bruegel (Brussels); Runner-up: Institute of Modern Politics] (Sofia)
2011: Winner: National Institute of Economic and Social Research, for scrutiny of the government’s economic strategy. Runner up: the King's Fund, for work on NHS reforms. International think tank of the year: Peterson Institute for International Economics: for coverage of the financial crisis. Runner up: Bruegel, for coverage of the eurozone. Publication of the year: Reform: “Every teacher matters”. Best foreign affairs think tank based in the UK: Joint award: Chatham House: for work on Yemen, and RUSI, for work on the Strategic Defence Review and China. One to Watch: Media Standards Trust, for the “Hacked Off” campaign and media scrutiny.
2010: (The judging panel for the 2010 awards this year was chaired by Ben Rogers, associate fellow of the IPPR and Demos, and included Kishwer Falkner, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the ministry of justice in the House of Lords; David Goodhart, Prospect editor-at-large; James Crabtree, Financial Times comment editor and Rohan Silva, senior adviser to David Cameron.)
2009: (The panel of 2009 consisted of Baroness Falkner (Liberal Democrat peer), David Halpern (the Institute for Government and former advisor to Tony Blair), Rohan Silva (special advisor to George Osborne MP), David Walker (the Audit Commission), and Prospect’s editor, David Goodhart, and managing editor, James Crabtree. A fuller report is here.)
Winner (jointly awarded): Centre for Social Justice and Institute for Fiscal Studies One to watch: Demos International: RUSI Climate change: IPPR Publication: Centre Forum, “A Balancing Act: Fair Solutions to a modern debt crisis”.
2008: (David Walker again chaired of the panel of judges—read his speech here.)
2007: (David Walker chaired the panel of judges—read his speech here.)
2005: Winner: Institute for Fiscal Studies Runner-up: Civitas One to watch: Overseas Development Institute Publication: Policy Exchange, “Unaffordable Housing: Fables and Myths”. Website: The Climate Group.
Every year, the number of entries from the previous year is beaten, as more categories and a wider selection of issues are taken into account.
- ABC Circulation Certificate
- David Goodhart (editor), Thinking Allowed: The Best of Prospect, 1995-2005, Atlantic Books, 2005. ISBN 978-1-84354-481-4
- Official home page
- Think Tank Awards official site
- Think Tank Awards Previous Winners
- Prospect magazine on Twitter
- Digital Edition