This strand of work looks at how sub-national tiers of government in England can be improved to be become more effective and accountable. 

By international standards, England has a highly centralised political system. But governments over the years have attempted to create new forms of sub-national democracy to decentralise power. There are now 23 directly elected mayors in England.

How can political power, control and accountability be best redistributed and enhanced?

Our 2014 report - Achieving Political Decentralisation - set out lessons from thirty years of attempts to devolve political power in the UK and identified ten obstacles that any successful reform programme should overcome.

The 2016 report – Examining the role of ‘informal governance’ on devolution to England’s cities – offers some reflections on the decision making process around devolution deals to date.

The Institute for Government has contributed to the British Academy’s Governing England programme, which is exploring a number of issues around the government and political identity of England. As part of this work, the Institute for Government has co-produced papers on the devolution debate in four English city regions. 

Project Contacts