Crossing Channels

How big a problem is short-termism in government?

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Episode notes

In this first episode of series 3, Rory Cellan-Jones talks to Dr Anne Degrave, Prof Dennis Grube and Halima Khan about the drivers of short-termism in government, the interplay between voter preferences and policy change, and the mechanisms needed to embed longer-term decision-making.

This episode unpacks why governments have been trapped in short-term thinking. Leading experts examine the impact of short-term decision-making on policy outcomes and explore the policy tools needed to instill longer-term decision-making. 

This episode is hosted by Rory Cellan-Jones (former technology correspondent for the BBC), and features guest experts Dr Anne Degrave (IAST), Prof Dennis Grube (Bennett Institute) and Halima Khan (Bennett Institute). 

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Season 3 Episode 1 transcript

For more information about the Crossing Channels podcast and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at and

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.

Audio production by Steve Hankey

Associate production by Stella Erker

Visuals by Tiffany Naylor

More about our host and guests:

Rory Cellan-Jones was a technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism have seen him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has also written multiple books, including his latest “Always On” which was published in 2021. @ruskin147

Anne Degrave is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse. She studies comparative politics, historical political economy and state formation. Her work investigates the implications of state formation for citizens and their relations with the state and elites, using quantitative analyses of historical data. 

Dennis C. Grube is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and research lead in political decision-making at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. His research explores institutional memory as an aid to better decision-making, decision-making structures in government, and expertise and the politics of evidence-based policymaking. 

Halima Khan is an independent adviser on public service innovation and an affiliated researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. Her interests are in approaches to public service innovation which incorporate the insights of citizens and frontline staff, and which build social capital and wellbeing. @halima_khan1