Tag: Matthew Flinders

Can the centre hold? Devolution in England is gathering pace

Can the centre hold? Devolution in England is gathering pace

The new metro-mayors are settling into their jobs. But will they lead to longer-term change in relationships between central and local government? Mark Sandford (House of Commons Library), Sarah Ayres (University of Bristol) and Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield) argue that, although not radical, England’s devolution deals may contain the seeds of change. Similar PostsSchrodinger’s devolution and the potential for ongoing […]

The UK’s referendum and post-fact politics: How can campaigners be held accountable for their claims?

The UK’s referendum and post-fact politics: How can campaigners be held accountable for their claims?

Both sides of the UK’s EU referendum campaign were criticised for presenting misleading information to the public. Alan Renwick, Matthew Flinders and Will Jennings write that the referendum highlighted the inability of the British political system to enforce standards of factual accuracy in how politicians campaign. They argue that while legal or regulatory changes could alter […]

Democracy Matters: Why we need ‘A Better Referendum’

Democracy Matters: Why we need ‘A Better Referendum’

Matthew Flinders argues that the EU referendum debate has been divisive and struggled to move beyond over-simplistic economic debates and a politics of pessimism. He writes that making this choice in an increasingly uncertain world demands a more creative and supported approach to public engagement and the provision of information than has so far been apparent, and points […]

The problems with democracy – continuing the conversation into a new year

The problems with democracy – continuing the conversation into a new year

Matthew Flinders recently gave a public lecture looking at the ‘problems with democracy’ at the British library, which Kevin Gillen responded to. Here, Flinders responds again, arguing that there may be less to inspire citizens in ideas around individualism and technology than is commonly thought. Similar PostsCan the centre hold? Devolution in England is gathering […]

Attempts to find solutions to the ‘problems with democracy’ should avoid attempts to overcome individualism

Attempts to find solutions to the ‘problems with democracy’ should avoid attempts to overcome individualism

Assessing how to tackle widespread democratic malaise, disengagement from, and distrust in politics have taken up a great deal of attention over recent years (not least on Democratic Audit). Matthew Flinders has recently given a public lecture in which he attempts a diagnosis. Here, Kevin Gillan responds, arguing that attempts to find solutions must avoid […]

The 2015 General Rejection? Disaffected democrats and democratic drift

The 2015 General Rejection? Disaffected democrats and democratic drift

Political science and journalistic commentaries are full of woe about the abject state of modern politics and the extent of the gap that has supposedly emerged between the governors and the governed. In this context, the 7 May 2015 might have been expected to deliver a General Rejection of mainstream democratic politics but did this […]

Democracy is about more than just voting

Democracy is about more than just voting

Democracy is about far more than a vote, writes Matt Flinders. It is about everyday life, it is about community engagement, it is about personal confidence and belief, it is about daring to stand up and be counted and its about the art of life and living together in the twenty-first century. Democratic politics has […]

Finally recognising the value of quangos? The Coalition Government and a move beyond the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’

Finally recognising the value of quangos? The Coalition Government and a move beyond the ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’

The current Coalition government made a strong effort early in its existence to reduce the number of public bodies – or ‘quangos’ – in operation. Critics alleged that this was for ideological reasons and may prove to be counter-productive. Kate Dommett discusses the current government’s record, arguing that whilst on the surface there appears to be evidence of […]

When it comes to a fair constitutional settlement, beware of constitutional hyper-activism

When it comes to a fair constitutional settlement, beware of constitutional hyper-activism

The Flower of Scotland may well be blooming but a number of thorny issues face the Prime Minister and the leaders of the main parties in the UK, writes Matthew Flinders. The Prime Minister’s commitment to a ‘new and fair constitutional settlement’ not just for Scotland but for the whole of the United Kingdom may well reflect […]

Even if the ‘Yes’ campaign loses the referendum, it may have won the bigger battle over power and money

Even if the ‘Yes’ campaign loses the referendum, it may have won the bigger battle over power and money

Is the UK really in danger of dis-uniting? Matthew Flinders argues that the answer is ‘no’. But the more interesting answer is that the independence referendum is, to some extent, a red herring. The nationalists may well ‘lose’ the referendum but they have already ‘won’ the bigger political battle over power and money. All the main political […]