Building sub-national government

What’s going wrong with English Votes for English Laws – and how can it be improved?

What’s going wrong with English Votes for English Laws – and how can it be improved?

The ‘English Votes for English Laws’ procedural rules have attracted much criticism since they came into use a year ago – variously described as complex, divisive and not making England’s voice heard. Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny look at how EVEL is working, and how it could be improved. Similar Posts‘English Votes for English Laws’ —a viable answer to the […]

Book review | Locating Localism: Statecraft, Citizenship and Democracy, by Jane Wills

Book review | Locating Localism: Statecraft, Citizenship and Democracy, by Jane Wills

In Locating Localism: Statecraft, Citizenship and Democracy, Jane Wills explores the development of localism in the UK and the structures that both encourage and impede the transfer of decision-making to the neighbourhood level. While the book occasionally lacks engagement with the precise relationship between devolution and localism and the political struggles occurring within communities, Richard […]

The quality of mercy: how religion and ethno-nationalism influence attitudes towards amnesty in Northern Ireland

The quality of mercy: how religion and ethno-nationalism influence attitudes towards amnesty in Northern Ireland

The Good Friday Agreement gave political resonance to concepts like amnesty, forgiveness and mercy – all of them familiar from the lexicon of religion. John D Brewer and Bernadette C Hayes found that religious and ethno-national identity in Northern Ireland both influence public attitudes towards amnesty. In particular, belief in the Bible as the literal word of […]

Why do some local authorities have such poor websites? Insights from Sweden

Why do some local authorities have such poor websites? Insights from Sweden

 Some Swedish local authorities have embraced online services and forms of digital democracy. Others have been slow to take up the opportunity. Gustav Lidén rates the country’s 290 municipalities according to the depth of their digital engagement, and looks at the possible factors influencing it. Lack of enthusiasm from senior politicians and bureaucratic inertia are key […]

Sadiq Khan wants more devolution for London. But will he get it?

Sadiq Khan wants more devolution for London. But will he get it?

Sadiq Khan is keen for London to acquire more control over health, education and taxes – as well as powers to offset the likely impact of Brexit, such as a London-only work permit. But will he get his way? Akash Paun points out the powers of the Mayor and Assembly fall far short of the […]

Time to invite the ‘Others’ to the table: a proposal to make South Tyrol more inclusive

Time to invite the ‘Others’ to the table: a proposal to make South Tyrol more inclusive

South Tyrol, an autonomous and predominantly German-speaking province in northern Italy, is regarded as one of the most successful cases of ‘consociational’ democracy – a political system in which people deeply divided along ethnic, linguistic, or other lines share power. One of the rights that speakers of German, Italian and Ladin living in the province […]

No longer fit for purpose: it’s time to change the way we elect London Assembly Members

No longer fit for purpose: it’s time to change the way we elect London Assembly Members

London Assembly Members are elected using the Additional Member System. It’s a big improvement on first past the post, argues Charley Jarrett, but it’s now leading to inertia, with AMs lacking an incentive to tell constituents about their work. Ten of the 14 London seats have never changed party control and there is no way […]

In places where corruption is endemic, women struggle to become local councillors

In places where corruption is endemic, women struggle to become local councillors

Across Europe, while some regions elect relatively high shares of women to local councils, men almost exclusively dominate the councils of others. New research by Aksel Sundström and Lena Wängnerud suggests that informal recruitment practices are important in understanding why. Their study shows that in regions where corruption is endemic in local government, authorities elect lower shares of women […]

The Scottish Parliament would be as powerless in an independent Scotland as it is now

The Scottish Parliament would be as powerless in an independent Scotland as it is now

In spite of the ‘power sharing’ idea inherent in Scotland’s devolution settlement, concerns have been repeatedly raised about how power is wielded in the Scottish Parliament. These deficiencies have so far not been addressed in a convincing manner. Paul Cairney examines the use of Parliamentary Liaison Officers (PLOs), pointing out that such practices undermine the existence of any meaningful dividing […]

Beyond metro mayors and ‘secret deals’: rethinking devolution in England

Beyond metro mayors and ‘secret deals’: rethinking devolution in England

As the guard changes in Westminster and new government seeks to differentiate itself from its predecessor, it is timely to review the state of the devolution debate, argues John Tomaney. Policymakers need to learn from the US experience and reconsider the fixation on mayors. Just as importantly, the problem with ‘secret deals’ must be addressed if devolution is going to […]

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