Civitas (think tank)

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Typesadvocacy group
Location55 Tufton Street

Civitas: The Institute for the Study of Civil Society is a British think tank working on issues related to democracy and social policy.

History and activities[edit]

According to ConservativeHome, Civitas "started as the Health & Welfare Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs, but divorced from it in order to grow and because libertarian elements within the IEA disapproved on the focus on non-narrowly economic issues."[1]

In 2009, their income was £975,311 and staff size was 19.[1]

Civitas, originally based at 77 Great Peter Street,[1] is now based at 55 Tufton Street, in the same premises as Business for Britain and where Vote Leave was originally registered. According to newspaper reports from 2016, Civitas accounts showed that it paid rent of around £3,250 a month for its offices.[2]

Civitas set up the Centre for Social Cohesion 2007. Civitas research was drawn on heavily by Vote Leave in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.[2]

Policy interests[edit]

The think tank describes itself as "classical liberal" and "non-partisan". The Times and The Daily Telegraph have described it as a "right-of-centre think-tank".[3][4] Its director David G. Green writes occasionally in The Daily Telegraph and its deputy director Anastasia de Waal frequently contributes to The Guardian's "Comment is free" section.[5]

The Times has described Civitas as an ally of former Education Secretary Michael Gove.[3] It is opposed to green regulations, to legislation designed to reduce climate change, and to greater reliance on renewable energy.[6][7][8]





  • Crime and Civil Society: Can we become a more law-abiding people? (2005) Dr David G. Green, Emma Grove and Nadia A. Martin
  • Crimes of the Community: Honour-based Violence in the UK (2007) James Brandon and Salam Hafez
  • The Public and the Police (2008) Harriet Sergeant


  • Corruption of the Curriculum (2007) Robert Whelan, ed., with an introduction by Frank Furedi[13]
  • The Butterfly Book: A Reading and Writing Course (2007) Irina Tyk
  • The Butterfly Grammar: A Course for Better English (2008) Irina Tyk and Ed Dovey
  • Inspecting the Inspectorate: Ofsted Under Scrutiny (2008) Anastasia de Waal
  • Liberal Education and the National Curriculum (2010) Prof. David Conway
  • What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know (2011) E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (ed.)


  • Second Thoughts on the Family (2008) Anastasia de Waal
  • Licensed to Hug: How child protection policies are poisoning the relationship between the generations and damaging the voluntary sector (2008) Frank Furedi and Jennie Bristow[14]
  • The Meaning of Matrimony: Debating Same-Sex Marriage (2013) Anastasia de Waal, ed, contributors include Brendan O’Neill, Peter Tatchell and Frank Furedi


  • Putting Patients Last (2009) Peter Davies, James Gubb and Donald R. Keogh
  • Quite Like Heaven? Options for the NHS in a Consumer Age (2007) Nick Seddon and Bernard Ribeiro

Immigration and multiculturalism

  • Do We Need Mass Immigration? (2002) Anthony Browne
  • The ‘West’, Islam and Islamism: Is ideological Islam compatible with liberal democracy? (2003) Caroline Cox and John Marks
  • The Poverty of Multiculturalism (2005) Patrick West
  • A Nation of Immigrants? A brief demographic history of Britain (2007) Prof. David Conway
  • Disunited Kingdom (2009) Prof. David Conway
  • From Two Cultures To No Culture: C.P. Snow’s ‘Two Cultures’ Lecture Fifty Years On]] (2010) Frank Furedi, Roger Kimball, Raymond Tallis, Robert Whelan, dedicated to Claire Fox[15]

Environment and climate


  • Nations Choose Prosperity: Why Britain needs an Industrial Policy (2009) Ruth Lea and David G. Green

Involvement in schools[edit]

Civitas provides teaching materials and guest speakers for schools, in particular on family structure and on the EU.

The EU project publishes a series of free factsheets on the European Union, designed for use by A-level students.[18] Civitas also arranges speakers for talks and debates in schools on the subject of the EU.

Civitas runs supplementary schools on Saturday mornings and after school hours. The schools teach English and maths to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, emphasising traditional approaches such as phonics. There are now twenty supplementary schools in King's Cross, Hammersmith, Camberwell, Keighley, Birmingham, Great Yarmouth and Bradford providing classes for over 600 children per week.

Civitas is adapting the American Core Knowledge curriculum for the UK. It is a year-by-year outline of the specific and shared content and skills to be taught in Years 1 to 6. The first Core Knowledge book, What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know, aroused controversy over its message to minorities when released in 2011.[19] The books for Year 1 and Year 2 were published in 2012.[20]


Civitas has been rated as 'highly opaque' in its funding by Transparify[21] and has been a given a E grade for funding transparency by Who Funds You?.[22] Its funders include the pro-free market Nigel Vinson Charitable Trust.[23]


In 2004, a Civitas report was criticised by Faisal Islam for its deceptive methodology on the costs of immigration.[24]

A 2005 report by Civitas finding Britain's police forces to be among the least effective in the developed world "provoked outrage... among chief constables and criminologists."[25] It was also criticised by the UK's policing think tank the Police Foundation and the UK Home Office.[26]

A 2013 report by Civitas, written by the director of the pro-fossil fuel Renewable Energy Foundation, argued that a shift to renewables would mean “more people would be working for lower wages in the energy sector, energy costs would rise, the economy would stagnate, and there would be a significant decline in the standard of living”. The Government dismissed his report as “a manifesto for locking the British economy into excessive reliance on imported gas”.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Profile of Civitas". Conservative Home. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  2. ^ a b c d Wright, Oliver (2016-02-10). "The think-tanks carrying out 'independent' Brexit research have close links to Vote Leave". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  3. ^ a b "Gove allies say 'Sixties-mired' Ofsted should be scrapped". The Times. London. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  4. ^ Philip Johnston (7 April 2014). "A close encounter with the property boom". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Anastasia de Waal". the Guardian.
  6. ^ "Brexit Climate Deniers Launch Coordinated Attack Against Green Regulations Ahead of Election". DeSmog UK. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  7. ^ a b c Bawden, Tom (2015-03-30). "Is Britain's leading private university a mouthpiece for the fossil fuel industry?". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  8. ^ "Jeremy Nicholson". DeSmog UK. 2019-07-26. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  9. ^ David Green Archived 2012-05-11 at the Wayback Machine biography at
  10. ^ "Justine Brian – Battle of Ideas 2019". Battle of Ideas 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  11. ^ "Charity Details".
  12. ^ "Alan Rudge". DeSmog UK. 2019-07-26. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Green Mirage". Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society. August 30, 2011.
  17. ^ "The £200 Billion Price Tag For Britain's Green Folly". Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society. May 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ English version of US fact bible for Year 1s hits the shops at the Times Educational Supplement
  20. ^ "Core Knowledge UK: Educational Resources and Activities for Teachers, Home Educators, Parents and Grandparents to Help Children Excel in Primary School and Beyond".
  21. ^ "Round-Up of Transparify 2018 Ratings". Transparify. Retrieved 2019-07-07.
  22. ^ "Civitas | Who Funds You?". Retrieved 2019-07-07.
  23. ^ "News-watch". DeSmog UK. 2019-07-26. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  24. ^ Islam, Faisal (2004-04-11). "Foreign workers: fact and fiction". the Guardian. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  25. ^ Bright, Martin (2005-01-02). "UK police 'among the world's worst'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  26. ^ Dodd, Vikram (2005-01-03). "Experts deride report on crime and moral decline". the Guardian. Retrieved 2019-07-29.

External links[edit]