Social Affairs Unit

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Social Affairs Unit
Social Affairs Unit logo.jpg
Formation1980; 38 years ago (1980)
TypeSocial policy think tank
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Michael Mosbacher

The Social Affairs Unit is a right-leaning think tank in the United Kingdom.[1] Founded in 1980 as an offshoot of the Institute of Economic Affairs, it publishes books on a variety of social issues. Its website notes that "many SAU supporters are inclined to believe that the generation which fought the Second World War were rather too keen on social engineering over the goals of personal responsibility".[2]

The Unit publishes Standpoint (since 2008), a monthly cultural and political newsstand magazine edited by Daniel Johnson, and formerly sponsored various websites:, which became an archive on 10 April 2008, Chernobyl Legacy, which was last archived on 12 January 2010, the Black History Museum which was last archived on 13 February 2012 and, which was last archived on 7 July 2012.


The Social Affairs Unit was established in December 1980 as an offshoot of the Institute of Economic Affairs, in order to carry the IEA's economic ideas onto the battleground of sociology.[3] "Within a few years the Social Affairs Unit became independent from the IEA, acquiring its own premises."[3] Founded in 1980 as a registered charity,[4] its founder Chairman was Professor Julius Gould, and its founder Director, Dr. Digby Anderson. Anderson often contributed leading articles to UK national newspapers,[3] was Director from 1980 to 2004, when he retired and was succeeded by Michael Mosbacher.[5]


Documents released as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement showed that the Unit accepted funding from British American Tobacco in the 1980s.[6]




Advisory Council[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Oliver Kamm (2005). Anti-totalitarianism: The Left-wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy. Social Affairs Unit. ISBN 978-1780227955.
  • John Luik, Patrick Basham, Gio Gori (2006). Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade. Social Affairs Unit. ISBN 978-1904863199.


  1. ^ it is "commonly described as a right wing 'think-tank'". M. E. Tasker; D. E. Packham, "Freedom, funding and the future of the universities", Studies in Higher Education, Volume 15, Issue 2 1990, pages 181 - 195. p190
  2. ^ Social Affairs Unit, About Us, accessed 9 August 2010
  3. ^ a b c Muller, Christopher (1996), "The institute of economic affairs: Undermining the post-war consensus", Contemporary British History, Volume 10, Issue 1 Spring 1996, pages 88 - 110. p102
  4. ^ Social Affairs Unit, Charity Commission, charity number 281530
  5. ^ Digby Anderson, Social Affairs Unit Why oldies should be amused and amusing February 24, 2005], Accessed May 2, 2008
  6. ^ Legacy Tobacco Documents Library [1][2] [3]

External links[edit]