Archive for Akash Paun

Akash has worked at the Institute for Government since 2008, having previously worked as a Researcher at the Constitution Unit, UCL. He has a broad interest in constitutional change and the comparative study of political systems. He has led research across areas including: civil service accountability; the challenges of coalition government; devolution and the future of the UK; and the role and functions of select committees. Akash has published widely on these and related subjects. Recent publications include a report on permanent secretary appointments, a paper on reform of ministerial private offices, a research note on Cabinet reshuffles, and an international study of mid-term and late-term challenges for coalitions. Akash is also a regular media commentator on national and international TV and radio (including the Daily Politics, BBC Parliament, Al-Jazeera, Radio 5 Live and American National Public Radio).

Akash Paun’s Posts

Brexit and the Union: can a shared UK approach be found?

, 22 July 2016

Working out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU and its post-Brexit status will involve the British Government in parallel negotiations overseas and at home. A deal will need to be struck with the rest of the EU. And that deal will have to be agreed and ratified domestically, at Westminster but...

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Can Scotland avoid Brexit?

, 5 July 2016

On 23 June, the UK electorate voted by 52-48% to leave the European Union. Membership of the EU is not a devolved matter. The UK is the member state and the UK does not (yet) have a federal system like Australia where constitutional changes must be backed by a majority of voters in a...

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Brexit consequentials: why the UK must involve the devolved governments in the process of leaving the EU

, 24 June 2016

Every single local authority area in Scotland voted Remain. Meanwhile, with the exception of London, every region in England voted Leave, as did Wales. Northern Ireland voted narrowly to remain, but with a large minority, mainly from the unionist community, opting for Leave, in line with the preference of Northern Ireland’s unionist First Minister....

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The referendum and the British constitution: strange bedfellows?

, 20 June 2016

The EU referendum campaign has not been the finest advertisement for evidence-based, deliberative decision-making, but the genie of direct democracy is hard to put back in its bottle. Referendums seem here to stay, at least for the biggest constitutional questions, and quite possibly on an expanding range of issues. And at some point the...

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Old faces, new politics? How the three devolved governments were formed

, 20 May 2016

In Scotland and Wales, unlike at Westminster, First Ministers are appointed (by the Queen) only after receiving the explicit backing of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd respectively. This process came to a conclusion this week as the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh Labour’s Carwyn Jones were reconfirmed in office. Events in Edinburgh and...

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Seven challenges for making devolution work

, 3 May 2016

1. Adapting to the new politics of fiscal devolution A central feature of devolution to date is that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have little control over the size of their budget. Important tax and borrowing powers are now being devolved to all three nations, although the Barnett Formula also survives for...

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Making minority government work in Ireland: international lessons

, 22 April 2016

Governments without a parliamentary majority can sustain themselves in different ways, as discussed in past reports by the Institute for Government. One option is a pure or unsupported minority government, where the government has no formal relationship with any other party and must build a majority on an issue-by-issue basis. Despite the apparent fragility...

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The paradox of Scottish devolution

, 29 February 2016

The Scottish Parliament and Government control most major public services and around 60% of public spending north of the border. The health service, schools and universities, local government, criminal justice, housing and more has been devolved to Holyrood since 1999. Unlike in many federal systems, the block grant Scotland receives from the Treasury has...

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A new normal for Northern Ireland?

, 4 February 2016

Huge progress has been made, but visiting Belfast and the grand old buildings of Stormont Estate, as I did last week, one is struck by the unique combination of “normal” politics and issues distinct to Northern Ireland’s troubled past that continues to shape how government works. Having again teetered on the edge of collapse...

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Devolution will make you happy

, 15 January 2016

A good constitution sets a framework within which government can operate effectively. The UK (England in particular) has been over-centralised, leading to poor performance in some areas of government. Devolution of power within England can therefore create a more balanced constitution that will provide better government and policy outcomes. In a nutshell, this was...

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