PSA Launch New Research Commission to Investigate How ‘Informal Governance’ Is Shaping Devolution in English Cities
The Political Studies Association (PSA) is launching a Research Commission to investigate how 'informal governance' in shaping devolution in English cities.
The PSA has today (Thursday 30th July) announced the launch of the first of two new Research Commissions which have been set up to help identify emerging issues in the study and practice of politics.
The first Research Commission, chaired by Dr Sarah Ayres (University of Bristol and Board Member of the Regional Studies Association), will investigate how ‘informal governance’ is shaping devolution in English cities.
The Commission will bring together academics, learned societies and practitioners to examine this process in detail and to explore the complex inter-play between the formal and informal processes guiding constitutional change in England.
Informal governance can be defined as a means of decision-making that is un-codified, non-institutional and where social relationships and webs of influence play crucial roles.
The issue of informality in devolution debates is timely as the UK government is proposing a range of ‘devolution deals’ with core cities. Each of these deals is to be individually brokered - a combination in reality of formal ‘front stage’ politics and informal ‘back stage’ negotiations. The Government has expressed its preference for Metro Mayors to ensure local leadership and accountability. However, this announcement has been met with variable levels of enthusiasm, leading to a high degree of complexity and uncertainty in territorial debates.
Launching this initiative, Professor Will Jennings of the Political Studies Association said:
“Each Commission is addressing an issue of strategic importance and each will reflect on how the study of politics might respond to challenges and opportunities raised by the changing scope and form of politics in the 21st Century.
“Our ambition is for the profession, in collaboration with other disciplines and practitioners, to contribute to, and lead, current debates in public life and society more broadly. The issue of constitutional change in England is high on this agenda and we look forward to publishing the Commission’s report in March 2016.”
The Commission, alongside Dr Ayres, will involve the following Commissioners: Paul Buddery (Royal Society of Arts), Jo Casebourne (Institute for Government), Ed Cox (Institute for Public Policy Research) and Mark Sandford (House of Commons Library). It will produce its final report in March 2016.
Further details about the work of the Commission will published on the PSA’s website at: www.psa.ac.uk