The success of Citizens’ Assemblies suggests that, far from being anti-political, members of the public were very keen to engage in discussions about the future of the United Kingdom, in general, and about English decentralisation, in particular. Furthermore, the findings of project suggests that deliberative assemblies can deliver informed public engagement that can add value to the policy-making process and potentially bring added depth and legitimacy to the decision-making process.
This 2015 article by Felicity Matthews and Matthew Flinders followed the British Academy-funded “Constitutional Crossroads and Coalition Politics” research project, which explored the implications of UK coalition government following the 2010 general election. Published in Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Matthews and Flinders focus on the parliamentary scrutiny of public appointments in the UK and reveals how select committees have accrued increasing powers to challenge ministerial appointments and how this has resulted in a series of unintended consequences that raise critical concerns regarding the overall added-value of pre-appointment scrutiny.
A further output from the British Academy-funded “Constitutional Crossroads and Coalition Politics” research project, Felicity Matthews’ article was the first complete in-depth analysis of the 2010-2015 Coalition Government’s record on the constitution. Published in British Politics in 2015, it focused on the gap between rhetoric and reform, and the way in which constitutional traditions have confounded the ability to effectively manage the tensions that exist within the UK’s uneasy settlement.
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