The 2017 Audit of UK Democracy

Audit 2017: How effective is the Westminster Parliament in scrutinising central government policy-making?

Audit 2017: How effective is the Westminster Parliament in scrutinising central government policy-making?

The House of Commons is one of the oldest and foremost legislatures in the world – yet in the past it was also a byword amongst political scientists for weak legislative control of government. Recently some revisionist authors have painted a more active picture of MPs’ influence. As part of our 2017 Audit of UK […]

Audit 2017: How democratic are the institutions of devolved government in Northern Ireland?

Audit 2017: How democratic are the institutions of devolved government in Northern Ireland?

Devolved government in Northern Ireland centres around unique institutions, a power-sharing Executive with ministers chosen on a proportional basis, answering to an Assembly elected using PR. It was designed to overcome the intercommunal strife that has characterised Northern Ireland public life: the challenges it has faced have been particularly acute, and its record has, inevitably, […]

Audit 2017: How democratic and effective is the interest group process in the UK?

Audit 2017: How democratic and effective is the interest group process in the UK?

Between elections, the interest group process (along with media and social media coverage) is a key way in which citizens can seek to communicate with their MPs and other representatives, and to influence government policy-makers. As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Patrick Dunleavy considers how far different social groups can gain access and […]

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Wales?

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Wales?

Within Wales, the local councils provide the main focus for democratic politics below the devolved government in Cardiff, and organise the provision of most local services. As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, James Downe looks at how well they fulfil their roles. Similar PostsAudit 2017: How democratic is local government in Northern Ireland?Audit […]

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Audit 2017: How far does the growth of social media extend or threaten democratic processes and values? Does it foster or impede greater citizen vigilance and control over government?

Social media technologies (such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram) have brought about radical changes in how the media systems of liberal democracies operate. The platform providers have become powerful actors in the operation of the media system, and in how its links to political processes operate. Yet at the same time […]

Audit 2017: How well does the UK’s media system sustain democratic politics?

Audit 2017: How well does the UK’s media system sustain democratic politics?

The growth of ‘semi-democracies’ across the world, where elections are held but are rigged by state power-holders, has brought into ever-sharper focus the salience of a country’s media system for the quality of its democracy. Free elections without some form of media diversity and balance clearly cannot hope to deliver effective liberal democracy. As part […]

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in England?

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in England?

England (outside Greater London) is one of the largest areas in the liberal democratic world that still lack any form of regional governance. Here, local authorities are the only other tier of elected government and they play a key role in the democratic life of cities, towns and regions. As part of the 2017 Audit of […]

Audit 2017: How democratically organised and effective are the London boroughs in serving the capital’s population?

Audit 2017: How democratically organised and effective are the London boroughs in serving the capital’s population?

Within London the 32 London boroughs undertake most local services provision and planning, and play a major role in shaping the capital’s evolution. As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Tony Travers looks at how well they fulfil their roles. Similar PostsThe Tower Hamlets affair is a sad indictment of British local democracyThe PwC […]

Audit 2017: How representative and effective are the UK civil service and the wider public services management system?

Audit 2017: How representative and effective are the UK civil service and the wider public services management system?

As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Patrick Dunleavy looks at how well the administrative wings of the British state operate – especially the traditionally dominant civil service headquartered in Whitehall, but also the wider administration of key public services, notably the NHS, policing and local government administrations. Are public managers at all levels […]

Audit 2017: How strong is the democratic integrity of UK elections? Are turnout, candidacies and participation maximised?

Audit 2017: How strong is the democratic integrity of UK elections? Are turnout, candidacies and participation maximised?

Across the world, there are many countries ‘where elections take place but are rigged by governments or unfairly conducted. And even in core liberal democracies (like the United States) political parties have now become deeply involved in gerrymandering constituencies and partisan efforts at ‘voter suppression’.  As part of our 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Toby S […]

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