Essex research on the causes and consequences of devolution substantially
changed the way
BBC News and Current Affairs reports on the nations of the United Kingdom.
King's research on devolution underpinned a 2008 report that he was
commissioned to prepare for
the BBC Trust. The report examined BBC News and Current Affairs' coverage
of the UK's nations
and made recommendations as to how this coverage could be improved. The
BBC Trust and BBC
management accepted the bulk of King's recommendations. The result, still
in evidence, has been
a transformation in the quality and quantity of the BBC's relevant
television, radio and online
output, including a seven-fold increase in references to devolved
institutions in subsequent years'
Politics staff at Cardiff have conducted detailed research on public
attitudes towards devolution in Wales. By directly informing the
conclusions of the All Wales Convention, and the behaviour of key actors
in the 2011 Welsh referendum, the research has significantly influenced
the Welsh devolution settlement. The research has contributed
substantially to the on-going work of the Silk Commission. Regular and
effective public dissemination of key research findings has enabled the
research to inform political debate in Wales. The research has also
contributed to the development of survey capacity in Wales, and thereby
facilitated the conduct of more regular Welsh political polling.
Professor Michael Keating has worked on various aspects of public
policy-making in Scotland and
abroad, supported primarily by the ESRC and Leverhulme Trust. Impact has
taken the form of a
series of collaborative academic-practitioner engagements, involving civil
servants, politicians, and
civil society actors. These events have focused on establishing a common
vocabulary and core
concepts, while exploring difficult issues in public policy and
facilitating mutual learning between
academics and practitioners. Insights from these encounters have been
institutionalised in the
Scottish Policy Innovation Forum, as well as ongoing seminars, public
lectures, innovative training
courses for civil servants, and informal discussions.
The impact pertains to material changes instituted in UK devolution,
principally in Wales, but increasingly beyond. The impacts on public
policy, law and services are:
This impact occurred in the period from 2008-2013 and flowed from
research led by Professor Laura McAllister which had identified:
Before the UK's 2010 election there were widespread fears that a hung
Parliament might lead to political and economic chaos. Research conducted
and published by the UCL Constitution Unit showed both the necessity for a
Cabinet Manual to guide the process of forming a new government in the
event of a hung Parliament, and examined the best models available.
Although the full Cabinet Manual was published in 2011, the Cabinet Office
published a key chapter (Elections and Government Formation) before
the 2010 general election. The chapter, which drew heavily on the insights
of and recommendations made in the UCL research, helped ensure in May 2010
an orderly transition to government of the first coalition in 60 years.
That transition was also supported by the researchers' use of their
findings to enhance understanding among professional, media and public
audiences of what would happen in the event of a hung parliament.
Politics staff at Cardiff University (Wincott, Wyn Jones and Scully), working in collaboration with
colleagues at the University of Edinburgh (Jeffery and Henderson) and the Institute for Public
Policy Research (IPPR), have conducted research on changing political identities and
constitutional attitudes in England. This work has had a substantial impact on public debates about
the place of England and Englishness within the United Kingdom; had a direct impact upon the
McKay Commission report; and also influenced the constitutional thinking of the Labour party.
Political power in the UK has been significantly devolved since 1999,
transforming the policy landscape. Our research in 2007 found that
broadcast news failed to reflect this new landscape, and that citizens
were routinely being misinformed about major areas of policy such as
health and education — a lack of information and understanding that is a
potential barrier to democratic engagement. Our research was used to
inform the King Report, as well as being published by the BBC Trust as
part of that report, and our recommendations were adopted by the BBC which
took action based on our findings to improve news coverage across all its
outlets. Our follow-up study, conducted a year after this intervention,
found that BBC news coverage had changed to become more accurate, and
better reflected post-devolution politics in the UK.
The recommendations of the `Calman Commission' on Scottish Devolution resulted in the largest
transfer of financial powers from Westminster since the creation of the United Kingdom,
implemented in the Scotland Bill which received Royal Assent in 2012. The independent expert
group chaired by Professor Anton Muscatelli were directly influenced by University of Glasgow
research on the lack of accountability in the UK devolved system, the potential to extend the use of
income taxation as a devolved tax, and the problems in devolving taxes such as VAT, corporation
and natural resource tax.
Politics staff at the University of Edinburgh (Henderson and Jeffery),
working in collaboration with colleagues at Cardiff University and the
Institute for Public Policy Research, have conducted research (2007-13) on
changing political identities and constitutional attitudes in England.
This work has informed public debates about the place of England and
Englishness within the United Kingdom; has shaped the findings of the
McKay Commission; and has influenced the constitutional thinking of the
University of Aberdeen research into financial and economic relations
between Westminster and
Scotland has informed public debate concerning Scottish Constitutional
Change and influenced
Scottish and UK policy makers in light of Devolution in 1999 and the
Independence Referendum in
Impact emerged through two main channels: First, through UK Continental
Shelf (UKCS) research
investigating the nature and extent of shares of investment, production,
gross revenues and UK
treasury tax revenues attributable to an independent Scottish parliament.
accurate research information about the Barnett formula's post-devolution
role in fiscal transfers
between Westminster and Scotland.