Sarah Ayres

University of Bristol, UK

Sarah Ayres

Assessing the impact of ‘informal governance’ on devolution in English cities

The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of ‘informal governance’ on devolution to English cities post the 2014 Scottish referendum. 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. This research involves a case study of Bristol to examine the structures and processes that are currently guiding central-local relations and decisions about devolution in England. The study will be guided by four key research questions:

This research will provide critical insights into how state and non-state actors are using formal and informal arrangements to manage inter-governmental relations and decisions about devolution to England’s cities.
The theme of this proposal fits squarely with the RSA’s research themes, as set out in the 2015-2020 Development Plan. More specifically, it relates to the themes of ‘territory, politics and governance’ and ‘regional and urban policy’. Although the study is UK based, it will generate theoretical and methodological reflections of interest to the RSA’s global membership.

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