Devolution in England

The Trust held a conference on ‘Devolution in England’ on 20-21 June 2017 at the University of Kent, Canterbury.


Below is the final conference programme and the list of speakers:

Devolution in England:

International Perspectives, Politics and Policy Ideas after Brexit

20-21 June 2017

University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Monday 19 June 2017

From 15.00      Arrival and check-in

18.30                  Informal dinner (for invited speakers and participants)

Tuesday 20 June 2017

0830 – 0900    Coffee and registration

0900 – 0915    Welcome and introduction: Neophytos Loizides (Kent)

09.15 – 10.45    Session 1. Federal Devolution in Theory and Practice (I): new concepts

Questions for speakers:

(1) What are the latest conceptual innovations in the field of federalism studies in relation to devolving power to lower tiers of government (regional, local)?

(2) Is the centralisation of power at national and possibly supranational levels the single greatest challenges? What are the other main challenges?

Chair: Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations)

Confirmed speakers: Thibaud Bodson (Free University Berlin); Jonathan Carr-West (LGiU); Paolo Dardanelli (Kent); Neophytos Loizides (Kent)

 10.45 – 11.15    Coffee


11.15 – 13.15    Session 2. Federal Devolution in Theory and Practice (II):  examples from Canada, Germany, Spain and Switzerland

Questions for speakers:

(1) What has been the country-specific experience over the past 20-30 years in relation to the centralisation of power (e.g. in the context of globalisation, European integration)?

(2) How have the four countries devolved power to lower levels or protected their decentralised models of government and governance?

(3) What lessons might there be for other countries such as England in terms of devolving powers (institutionally and in policy areas such as transport, health, housing and education)?

Chair: Felix Knüpling (Forum of Federations)

Confirmed speakers: Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations); César Colino (St Antony’s, Oxford & Open University, Spain); Klaus Detterbeck (University of Göttingen); Willi Haag (Council of St. Gallen)

13.15 – 14.00    Lunch

14.00 – 15.30    Session 3. A new constitutional settlement for England in a more federal UK?

Questions for speakers:

(1) How has the place of England within the UK evolved since devolution to Scotland and Wales and more recently after the 2014 Scottish referendum and now Brexit?

(2) What options are there for devolving more powers to England? A parliament? Regional  assemblies? More elected mayors? Some combination?

Chair: Adrian Pabst (Kent)

Confirmed speakers: Vernon Bogdanor (KCL); Patrick Cormack (Conservative Life Peer [tbc]); Maurice Glasman (Labour Life Peer); Meg Russell (UCL)

15.30 – 16.00    Tea

16.00 – 17.30    Session 4. English devolution: advances and limits of city and metro mayors

Questions for the keynote speaker and the panellists:

(1) What has been the experience of city and metro mayors in terms of devolved powers?

(2) What are the main advances and limits of creating city and metro mayors?

(3) Is there a case in favour of devolving new powers and creating more city and metro mayors?

Chair: Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations)

Confirmed keynote speaker: John Denham (former Cabinet Minister; University of Winchester)

Invited panellists: Jon Cruddas (Labour parliamentary candidate for Dagenham and Rainham); Vivien Lowndes (University of Birmingham); Andrew Percy MP (Minister for Northern Powerhouses)

17.30 – 18.00   Drinks Reception

18.00 – 19.00    Free Time

19.00 – 20.30    Dinner

2030 – 2200    Panel conversation on the life and legacy of John Pinder

Chair: Terry Bishop (Chair, JMCT)

Confirmed panellists: Stanley Henig (Vice Chair, JMCT); Lucio Levi (University of  Turin); Angus Sladen (Honorary Treasurer, JMCT)

Wednesday 21 June 2017

09.00 – 09.30    Coffee

09.30 – 11.15    Session 5. New policy ideas for a devolved settlement in England: more mayors, stronger  counties, or an English parliament ?

Questions for speakers:

(1) Is there a case for creating mayors across English villages, towns and cities (analogous to the case of Italy and France in the 1980s)?

(2) What role could and should play counties in a new devolved settlement for England?

(3) Is there space for an English Parliament while maintaining the UK Parliament?

Chair: Adrian Pabst (Kent)

Confirmed speakers: Phillip Blond (ResPublica; co-author of the report Devo Max Devo Manc); Jane Wills (Queen Mary London); Nick Forbes  (Leader of Newcastle City Council [Labour]), tbc; Gordon Oliver  (Mayor of Torbay [Conservative]), tbc

11.15 – 11.45    Coffee

11.45 – 13.00    Session 6. Brexit and the consequences for devolved external affairs

Chair: Brendan Donnolly (Federal Trust)

Speaker: Richard Whitman (Kent), author of “Devolved External Affairs: The Impact of  Brexit”, research paper published by Chatham House

Invited discussants: Owen Traylor (CARC), tbc; ; Nicholas Whyte  (APCO, Brussels) tbc

13.00 – 14.00    Lunch

14.00 – 16.00    Session 7. Panel debate: federal devolution in a comparative perspective

Questions for speakers:

(1) What, if any, insights for devolving powers might apply across countries?

(2) What are the main lessons in relation to political strategies and policy areas?

Invited Chair: Mary Southcott (Friends of Cyprus), tbc

Confirmed panellists: Jonathan Carr-West (LGiU); Clive Grace (Cardiff Business School)

Roundtable discussion with Rupak Chattopadhyay (Forum of Federations); César Colino (St Antony’s, Oxford & Open University, Spain); Klaus Detterbeck (University of Göttingen); Willi Haag (Council of St. Gallen)

16.00 -16.30   Tea and departure


List of invited speakers and participants

Bishop, Terry, Chair, James Madison Trust

Blond, Phillip, Director, ResPublica think-tank

Bodson, Thibaud, PhD candidate, Freie Universität Berlin

Bogdanor, Vernon, Research Professor, Institute for Contemporary British History, King’s College London

Carr-West, Jonathan, Chief Executive, LGiU

Chattopadhyay, Rupak, President and CEO, Forum of Federations, Canada

Cochrane, Feargal, Professor of International Conflict Analysis, Director, Conflict Analysis Research Centre, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

Colino, César, Santander Fellow in Iberian and European Studies at the European Studies Centre (2016-2017); Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Spanish Open University (UNED)

Lord (Patrick) Cormack, Life Peer (Conservative)

Cruddas, Jon, Member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham (Labour)

Dardanelli, Paolo, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

Denham, John, Professor and Director, Centre for English for English Identity and Politics, University of Winchester; former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2009-10)

Detterbeck, Klaus, Professor of Politics, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, University of Göttingen

Donnelly, Brendan, Director, The Federal Trust

Forbes, Nick, Councillor and Leader of Newcastle City Council (Labour)

Lord (Maurice) Glasman, Life Peer (Labour)

Grace, Clive, Honorary Research Fellow in international public services, Cardiff Business School

Haag, Willi, former Cantonal Councillor of St. Gallen

Henig, Stanley, Deputy Chair, James Madison Trust

Knüpling, Felix, Head of Programs, Forum of Federations, Berlin

Levi, Lucio, Professor of Politics, University of Turin

Loizides, Neophytos, Professor of International Conflict Analysis, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

Lowndes, Vivien, Professor of Public Policy, Institute of Local Government Studies and School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham

Pabst, Adrian, Reader in Politics, School of Politics and International Relations; Director, Centre for Federal Studies, University of Kent

Percy, Andrew, Minister for the Northern Powerhouses, Member of Parliament for Brigg and Goole (Conservative)

Russell, Meg, Director of the Constitution Unit; Professor of British and Comparative Politics, University College London

Sakwa, Richard, Professor of Russian and Eastern European Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent; Associate Fellow, Chatham House

Sheldon, Jack, Researcher, Constitutional Unit, University College London

Sladen, Angus, Honorary Treasurer, JMCT

Whitman, Richard, Professor of Politics and International Politics and Head of School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent; Associate Fellow, Chatham House

Baroness (Shirley) Williams of Crosby, Life Peer (Liberal Democrats)

Whyte, Nicholas, Senior Director, global solutions, APCO, Brussels

Wills, Jane, Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London; author of Locating localism: Statecraft, citizenship and democracy (Bristol: Policy Press, 2016)


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