On Thursday 24 September, I gave a presentation at a seminar on ‘Adaptations at the centre to party incongruence since 2007’, organised by Wilfried Swenden and Nicola McEwen of Edinburgh University and Nicole Bolleyer of Exeter University. This is part of a seminar series ‘Reforming intergovernmental Relations in a Context of Party Political Incongruence’ funded by the ESRC. Other participants in the seminar included James Mitchell from Strathclyde, Iain McLean from Oxford and Jonathan Bradbury from Swansea, as well as academics from Madrid and Montreal and a number of practitioners.
My talk is entitled ‘Intergovernmental strategies for the UK Government: views from the centre’, and attempts to assess what the UK Government has done since 1999 in managing relations between the UK at the centre, and the devolved parts of the UK. It argues that it has in fact been hard to discern a strategy from the centre, and that Labour in office had an approach that was characteristically much more a Tory one than what left-of-centre parties in other decentralised or federal systems do. It also argues that that approach combined elements that were naturally irreconcilable. The slides from my talk (which are pretty detailed) are available here.