UK devolution in the shadow of hierarchy? Intergovernmental relations and party politics

  title={UK devolution in the shadow of hierarchy? Intergovernmental relations and party politics},
  author={Wilfried Swenden and Nicola McEwen},
  journal={Comparative European Politics},
This article looks at the dynamics of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in the context of UK devolution and how these have been affected by the more widespread occurrence of party incongruence since 2007. As predicted by the hypotheses in the introduction to this special issue, we first show how the asymmetric design of devolution is conducive to bilateral and weakly institutionalised IGR, and how the asymmetric design of UK devolution has been perpetuated since devolution was implemented in… 

Still better together? Purpose and power in intergovernmental councils in the UK

ABSTRACT Intergovernmental relations in the United Kingdom were intended to be predominantly informal, but a machinery of intergovernmental councils (IGCs) developed alongside informal relations.

Territorial politics in flux: autonomy and secession in the United Kingdom and Spain

The UK and Spain are paradigmatic examples of plurinational democracies that have sought to use political decentralisation as a means to manage the autonomy and secessionist aspirations of the

Celtic Ties That Bind? An Examination of Scotland’s Influence on Northern Ireland Politics Following the Scottish Independence Referendum

The purpose of this study is to determine the current political and cultural relationship that exists between Northern Ireland and Scotland following the Scottish independence referendum. It utilises

Attempts to change the British House of Lords into a second chamber of the nations and regions: explaining a history af failed reforms

  • M. Russell
  • History, Economics
    Perspectives on Federalism
  • 2018
Abstract The House of Lords is the world’s longest-established and probably best-known second chamber. Wholly unelected, with most members appointed for life, it appears a vestige of the ‘elite’ form

Standing Up for the Nations? Devolution and the Changing Territorial Role of Backbench MPs with Constituencies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1992–2019

At UK general elections, parties and candidates standing in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales give prominence to pledges to act on behalf of those territories. This article examines how far and

Devolution Commissions in the shadow of Whitehall: the Smith Commission and the creation of a ‘Powerhouse Parliament’

In the UK, it has become common for commissions to be convened to recommend changes to the devolved settlements in Scotland and Wales. The most recent of these commissions was the Smith Commission,

The Labour Party and the 'Politics of Englishness'

  • R. Swift
  • Political Science, Sociology
  • 2017
This thesis examines how the Labour Party has engaged with the so called ‘politics of Englishness’. It does so by considering the extent to which Englishness has been politicised and through

Rendre une voix aux nations aphones : un modèle de coopération plurinationale

Depuis que la diversite nationale est devenue un objet de recherche, la Catalogne, l'Ecosse et le Quebec sont etudies avec minutie. En considerant les demandes de reconnaissance emises par ces «

Plurinationalism, Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations in the United Kingdom

  • Paul Anderson
  • Political Science
    Intergovernmental Relations in Divided Societies
  • 2022



The Courts and Devolution in the UK

The courts have hitherto played a remarkably limited role in the working of devolution in the United Kingdom. In this respect, the UK has been an exception to practice in most federal or

Devolution in the United Kingdom

The issue of devolution has often been one for polemic rather than reasoned analysis. This work places recent developments in the United Kingdom in their historical context, examining political and

Devolution in the UK

This book explains devolution today in terms of the evolution of past structures of government in the component parts of the United Kingdom. It highlights the importance of the English dimension and

Intergovernmental Relations in Scotland: What was the SNP Effect?

In Scotland, the formation of a minority government in 2007 by the Scottish National Party (SNP) provided the potential for profound changes in intergovernmental relations. This followed eight years

‘Té Para Todos’? A Comparison of the Processes of Devolution in Spain and the UK

This paper focuses upon a comparison of the experiences of regionalisation in Spain and the United Kingdom. Spain's process of devolution, initiated in the late 1980s, has led to an asymmetrical

The Civil Service and Intergovernmental Relations in the Post-Devolution UK

The civil service, as an ‘apolitical’ actor, may supply a significant facilitating role in intergovernmental relations. This is especially the case in the UK, where even the most senior civil

Introduction: Political Opposition in a Multi-Level Context

This short introduction sets out the rationale for the special issue. It introduces the concepts of intergovernmental relations (IGR) and party political incongruence which are central to the

Intergovernmental Relations and Political Parties in Northern Ireland

Intergovernmental relations (IGR) as a political principle and a mechanism of governance have played a major and distinctive role in Northern Ireland's political and constitutional development. This

Giving with one hand: Scottish devolution within a unitary state

This essay employs Scottish devolution as a prism through which to examine two public policies used to manage national diversity: accommodation and integration. While an accommodationist discourse

Intergovernmental Relations and Innovation: From Co-Operative to Competitive Welfare Federalism in the UK

Intergovernmental relations serve several purposes: to resolve conflicts of competence; to deal with overlaps and externalities; to harmonise policies; and to respond to new policy challenges. The