Building sub-national government

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Scotland?

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Scotland?

Local authorities play key roles in the devolved government of Scotland, as the only other source of elected legitimacy and as checks and balances on the domestic concentration of power in Scotland’s central institutions. As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, James Mitchell and the Democratic Audit team explore how democratically local councils have […]

The Brazilian experience: democracy, at its fullest, saves lives

The Brazilian experience: democracy, at its fullest, saves lives

Brazil is a deeply unequal democracy which enjoyed an economic boom in the 2000s – and is now suffering from a recession and the threat of austerity cuts. Michael Touchton, Natasha Borges Sugiyama and Brian Wampler analysed the factors that led to falls in infant mortality. They found that while competitive local elections were important, they alone […]

Audit 2017: How democratic are the central institutions of devolved government in Scotland?

Audit 2017: How democratic are the central institutions of devolved government in Scotland?

Devolved government in Scotland started as a radical innovation in bringing government closer to citizens, and its development has generated great expectations including strong pressures for and against the Scottish Parliament and government becoming the core of a newly independent state. As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Malcolm Harvey and the Democratic Audit […]

Andy Street has just three years to unite the West Midlands under his mayoralty

Andy Street has just three years to unite the West Midlands under his mayoralty

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, has three years to make a success of the newly-created job. At first, Catherine Staite says, his ability to bring together the various political and community players will be more important than his formal powers, which are not great. He also needs to ensure that Birmingham’s historical […]

Who’s going to hold the new metro mayors to account?

Who’s going to hold the new metro mayors to account?

Six English mayors will be elected on 4 May. They will enjoy extensive new powers. But who will hold them to account? Unlike in London, no directly-elected assembly will scrutinise the mayors’ action. Chris Terry warns that councillors need to step up to the role – and the method of electing councils themselves makes this deeply problematic. Similar […]

‘Mum-of-two, 40’: but women rise to the top in Northern Irish politics

‘Mum-of-two, 40’: but women rise to the top in Northern Irish politics

Women now lead three of the five main parties in Northern Ireland and make up 30% of the Assembly. Danielle Roberts looks at the sea-change in women’s participation in Northern Irish politics since the Good Friday Agreement, which has happened in spite of the lack of Unionist female politicians. While a number of BME and LGBT […]

Hidden dragon: why is Wales ignored in London and inadequately reported at home?

Hidden dragon: why is Wales ignored in London and inadequately reported at home?

A healthy democracy needs mechanisms that enable citizens to understand the political process and engage in the functioning of politics. But achieving such an understanding is proving a major problem for Wales. Craig Johnson reflects on the broader problems caused by the inadequate reporting of Welsh politics – not just in the country itself, but […]

Going local – but does decentralisation actually make for more innovative policy?

Going local – but does decentralisation actually make for more innovative policy?

The mayoral elections in May are part of a plan put in place by George Osborne to reinvigorate local government in the UK. “The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken,” he said in 2015. But does decentralisation make government more innovative – and if […]

After the 2 March election, the Northern Ireland settlement needs a rethink

After the 2 March election, the Northern Ireland settlement needs a rethink

The Northern Ireland Assembly election on 2 March is likely to be followed by a difficult political negotiation. Alan Whysall argues that it must not be mere political sticking plaster. There is no real alternative to the basic architecture of the institutions, but there are fundamental issues to be dealt with about the way they […]

The ‘academy revolution’ is ousting governors. We need to hold these schools accountable

The ‘academy revolution’ is ousting governors. We need to hold these schools accountable

As more and more schools are removed from local authority control and become academies, the role of governors has diminished – and with it a school’s accountability to local people, argues Andy Allen. Contrary to the aim of the ‘school revolution’, multi-academy trusts are not autonomous at all, but answerable to  a few unelected trustees. He […]

Supporter of Post Navigator Premium WordPress Plugins