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, which set out lessons from 30 years of attempts to devolve political power in the UK, 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 towards devolution so far.

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. 

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Senior Fellow