Policy area: Constitutional affairs

Reports

Trust in public life

This report from UK think tank The Constitution Unit argues that there is an urgent need to rebuild the system for upholding standards in public life. Constitutional watchdogs are the guardians of the system for upholding standards. This project concerns seven constitutional watchdogs which monitor the conduct of the executive: the Advisory Committee on Business...

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Preparing for government

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government sets out how the official opposition should ready itself for power. This report sets out key lessons for how any opposition party should use the final 12 months (or fewer) to prepare for government. In the final months before an election access talks are overdue....

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Devolve by default

This report from UK think tank Reform sets out a new framework for devolution decisions and the assessment of local systems. At present, a great deal of Whitehall’s time and resources are absorbed by unnecessary centralisation: micromanagement of purely local affairs, management of bid-in pots for local actors, and the development of policy which would...

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Who decides? Influence and inequality in British democracy

This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at how power and influence are distributed unequally across our society. If there is one thing that unites people in this country, it is their disdain for Westminster. People have generally had enough of paying for the mistakes of politicians. This deeply held sentiment will not be...

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Tackling Iraq’s unaccountable state

This report from UK think tank Chatham House traces the political dimensions of state capture in Iraq and its consequences for the country’s future stability. The US-led invasion and occupation in 2003 brought Iraq some of the trappings of a liberal democracy, such as competitive multi-party elections and citizen freedoms, but it did not ensure...

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The future of democracy in the UK

This report from UK think tank the Constitution Unit looks at public attitudes and policy responses to democracy in the UK. Over the last three years, the Constitution Unit has conducted detailed research into public attitudes to democracy in the UK. This has comprised two large-scale surveys of the UK population, conducted in summer 2021...

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Equality and empowerment

This report from UK think tank the Fabian Society looks at a progressive proposal for fiscal devolution and economic development in England. England is generally agreed to be the most centralised nation of its size in the developed world, with central government involved in almost all aspects of how local authorities operate. Despite the extensive...

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MPs’ staff, the unsung heroes

This report from UK think tank the Constitution Unit provides new insights into who works for MPs. A good deal is known about the 650 MPs who sit in the House of Commons, and they are frequently the focus of research. Far less is known about the over 3,500 people who work for them across...

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Review of the UK Constitution: Final report

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government concludes an 18-month long Review of the UK Constitution. The UK’s constitution has been tested to its limits and found in urgent need of reform. This report, published jointly by the Institute for Government and Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy, warns that a...

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The ambivalent union

This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at findings from the State of the Union survey. Brexit revealed stark differences in attitudes across the UK. It not only revealed different attitudes within and between the UK’s constituent units towards the European Union but it also revealed the ambivalence of attitudes towards the union of...

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Constitutional change in Northern Ireland

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government looks at the most pressing governance challenges in Northern Ireland today. In Northern Ireland, mention of constitutional change normally means just one thing: United Kingdom versus United Ireland. The ‘constitutional question’ that this juxtaposition connotes – whether or not a majority of the people in...

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Perspectives on the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

This report from UK think tank the Constitution Unit looks at diverse views from 1998–2023. The current impasse at Stormont and the political disruption caused by Brexit and the Protocol in recent years point to a continued need to understand the diverse viewpoints that exist on this key document from the Northern Ireland peace process....

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Rebuilding and renewing the constitution

This report from UK think tanks the Institute for Government and the Constitution Unit looks at constitutional reforms available to political parties. This joint report by the Institute for Government and UCL’s Constitution Unit sets out a menu of constitutional reforms available to political parties to strengthen the UK’s constitution and governing institutions. It is...

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The art of the devolution deal

This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government looks at how England’s counties and cities can make a success of devolution. This report sets out how politicians and officials can master the art of the devolution deal to give new devolved institutions a greater chance of success. It welcomes the cross-party consensus behind...

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Talking politics: Building support for democratic reform

This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at the effectiveness of different rhetorical approaches to framing democratic reform. Dissatisfaction with how democracy works has been rising for more than a decade. For the first time since the mid-1970s, a clear majority of people in Britain are dissatisfied with democracy, and recent scandals in British...

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Related Events

5 June 2024

Location: Online

Think tank: The Constitution Unit

Priorities for new MPs’ induction in the next parliament

This event hosted by UK think tank the Constitution Unit will discuss the induction process for new MPs. Whatever the result of the upcoming general election, a large number of new MPs will enter the House of Commons. A well-designed induction programme will be crucial for helping them to find their feet and become effective parliamentarians....

6 June 2024

Location: Online / Institute for Government, 2 Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y 5AA

Think tank: Institute for Government

Outside influence: how to build external voices into the centre of government

This event hosted by UK think tank the Institute for Government discusses how to improve the influence of external voices at the heart of government. The biggest challenges UK government faces, from tackling low economic growth to addressing regional inequalities, adapting to climate change and transforming public service performance, will need to be addressed by harnessing the...

Related Articles

In its constitutional centenary could power be better shared within the UK going forward?

As the United Kingdom celebrates its 100th year in its current reconfiguration we asked how power should be shared going forward. Focus on how to embed metro mayors and combined authorities into major public investment decisions By James Heywood (Centre for Policy Studies) The UK is one of the most centralised nations in the developed...

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