Welcome to the latest edition of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute’s Understanding Society. In this issue, we look at the way Britons live now and how our attitudes, values and behaviours compare with those in other countries.
To help us make sense of this year and the state of British society, peppered throughout our articles are findings from our new Global Trends Survey. This study aims to build a more comprehensive picture of what matters to people in Britain, compared with 19 other countries across the world.
The survey has hundreds of questions covering a diverse range of subjects including perceptions of government, our deeper values, views of some of the key challenges facing the world and measures of a wide range of behaviours. We will be reporting on these findings in much more detail through 2014 and the data included here is just a taster of what is to come.
We are also delighted to have an interview with the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, Britain’s top civil servant and the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s most senior policy adviser. Sir Jeremy considers the future of the British civil service, the skills needed to succeed in the civil service and the role of data in policy-making.
We are also extremely pleased to have an article on British identity from Sunder Katwala, director of the think tank, British Future. He unpicks the notion of Britishness and its constituent parts, as well as considering the extent to which the referendum next year in Scotland will trigger a further rethinking of national identities across Britain.
We hope you enjoy the report, and if you would like to discuss any of the issues it raises, then please get in touch. In the meantime, best wishes for 2014.
Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute