Social Affairs Unit

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Social Affairs Unit (SAU) is a group of 'independent' individuals that study various cultural, social and economic issues, with an "emphasis on the value of personal responsibility".[1] They are comprised of a group of educated individuals, namely historians, sociologists, philosophers, doctors and 'hard scientists' who according to their website "identify research with a potential to inform public policy and translate it from academic discourse into public debate".

It was founded in 1980 by Julius Gould (professor and director) and Digby Anderson (doctor and chairman).

In its early years it was interested in 'critical evaluation' of the welfare state and it boasts how many of the ideas such a parental accountability and local autonomy within education have made their mark on policy today. Ironically these issues are the 'hot' issues today!

SAU version

According to the SAU in 2002:

The SAU is an independent research and educational trust committed to the promotion of lively and wide-ranging debate on social affairs. Its authors, (over 200), have analyzed the factors which make for a free and orderly society in which enterprise can flourish. It is committed to international co-operation in ideas: e.g. Health Lifestyle and Environment: Countering the Panic with the Manhattan Institute, a forthcoming Anglo-French project on food and alcohol policy, and The Loss of Virtue: Moral Confusion and Social Disorder in Britain and America, also published as a National Review book in the USA, which won the 1994 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award for the best book from a think-tank. Current areas of work include consumer affairs, the critical appraisal of welfare and public spending and problems of freedom and personal responsibility. original urlWeb archive versions




International Advisory Council

Other contributors and authors


Apparently an independent organisation and corporate intervention free, it was originally founded and encouraged by the neo-liberal Institute of Economic Affairs and remained linked to it until 2005 in the form of the recently deceased Arthur Seldon, former joint founding president of the Institute.

Contact, References and Resources


The Social Affairs Unit
314-322 Regent St
London W1B 5SA
Tel: 020 7637 4356
Fax: 020 7436 8530

Social Affairs Unit website is organised by a blogging company called 'tbbc: the Big Blog' that manages blogging sites for Ideal Government, Stephen Pollard, Economics UK and Adam Smith Institute as well as the Social Affairs Unit.




Examples of their articles can be viewed [2] and tend to contradict their wish to talk about issues that can be translated to all since they are on rather obscure political and scientific research. Furthermore, their very name suggests a slightly elitist membership since it is not so easy to research a social affairs unit!


  • David Conning, A New Diet of Reason: Healthy eating and government policy 1983-1995.
  • Violence, Disorder and Incivility in British Hospitals: The Case for Zero Tolerance (Research Reports), by Theodore Dalrymple, 2002.
  • Douglas Murray, Neoconservatism: Why We Need It, 2005.
  • From Rushdie to 7/7: The Radicalisation of Islam in Britain, by Anthony McRoy, 2005.
  • When Students Turn to Terror: Terrorist and Extremist Activity on British Campuses, by Anthony Glees and Chris Pope, 2005, ISBN 1904863078.
  • Anti-Totalitarianism: The Left Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy, by Oliver Kamm, 2006.
  • The Dotted Red Line: Britain's Defence Policy in the Modern World, by Jeremy Black, 2006, ISBN 1904863132
  • The British Moment: The Case for Democratic Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century, Manifesto of the Henry Jackson Society, 2006.
  • Warning: Immigration Can Seriously Damage Your Wealth, by Anthony Scholefield, 2007.
  • Jeremy Black, The Holocaust, , 2008.
  • Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan, by Caroline Fourest, with a foreword by Denis MacShane, 2008.
  • The Disrespect Agenda: Or How the Wrong Kind of Niceness Is Making Us Weak and Unhappy, by Lincoln Allison, Forthcoming, 2008.