Professor Hugh Compston
Telephone: +44(0)29 2087 5644
Fax: +44(0)29 2087 4946
Location: Room 1.18, 65-68 Park Place
1. The Politics of Climate Policy
This project is aimed at identifying political strategies that would make it easier for national governments to make further and deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding significant political damage. Among other things this has resulted in an international network of scholars, two edited volumes, a number of articles and book chapters, and presentations at events held by think tanks and international organisations. The political strategies identified so far are summarised in this paper:
2. Transnational Companies and Public Policy
It was discovered recently by systems analysts in Zurich that the world of transnational companies (TNCs) is dominated by a small group of interconnected financial firms. This is a new, surprising and potentially significant finding. My aim is to identify what, if anything, it implies for our understanding of politics and public policy. For more details see this paper:
2007-present: The Politics of Climate Policy. This project is aimed at identifying political strategies that would make it easier for national governments to make further and deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions while avoiding significant political damage.
2007-2008: Policy Network Theory and the Future of Public Policy. This ESRC-funded research explored the extent to which policy network theory can be developed into a theory of policy change that can be used to illuminate the likely future of public policy in affluent European democracies.
2004-2006: King Trends and the Future of Public Policy. This project used policy network theory to identify the likely direction of future policy change via identifying the impact on the views and power resources of participants in policy-making of all the major long-term technological, economic, environmental and social trends that I could identify (king trends). The results were published in my book King Trends and the Future of Public Policy (2006).
2002-2004: Public Policy in Britain, France and Germany. Brought together over 50 policy experts to put together the first comprehensive account of the nature and content of public policy in Britain, France and Germany over the full range of public areas. Each chapter of the resulting book – Handbook of Public Policy in Europe: Britain, France and Germany (2004)- describes the nature of public policy in a particular area, makes detailed comparisons of selected aspects, and sketches recent developments.
1997-2002: Policy Concertation in Western Europe. Investigated the dynamics of policy concertation - the codetermination of public policy by governments, employers and trade unions - by assembling historical and political case studies of policy concertation in ten West European countries and subjecting these to systematic comparative analysis. Published as Policy Concertation and Social Partnership: Lessons for the 21st Century (edited with Stefan Berger, 2002), and ‘Beyond Corporatism: A Configurational Theory of Policy Concertation’, European Journal of Political Research Vol. 42, 2003, pp.809-831.
1996-2001: Social Partnership in the European Union. Investigated the extent to which the development and operation of social partnership at European Union level can be explained in terms of self-interest, as opposed to factors such as ideas or cultural or ideological values, by bringing together experts to analyse the positions and actions of the Commission and other major EU-level policy actors. Published as Social Partnership in the European Union (edited with Justin Greenwood, 2001).
1994-1996: The Politics of Radical Unemployment Policies. Brought together country experts to evaluate the political viability of a number of unorthodox policies designed to fight unemployment. Published as The New Politics of Unemployment (1996).
1990-1997: Trade Union Power and Unemployment. Investigated and measured union participation in economic policy-making, and used pooled time-series analysis to establish that this was consistently associated with low unemployment in 13 West European countries during the period 1972-1993. Results published in articles in the European Journal of Political Research (co-authored by Paul Boreham), West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy and Comparative Political Studies.
2010-Present: Professor of Politics, Cardiff School of European Languages, Translation and Politics, Cardiff University
2006-2010: Reader in Politics, School of European Studies, Cardiff University
2004-2005: Leverhulme Research Fellow, School of European Studies, Cardiff University
2001-2006: Senior Lecturer in Politics, School of European Studies, Cardiff University
1992-2001: Lecturer in Politics, School of European Studies, Cardiff University
1991-1992: Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Strathclyde
1991: Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow and Acting Associate Director, Australia-New Zealand Studies Center, Pennsylvania State University
1990: Research Associate, Department of Government, University of Queensland
1987-1990: PhD in Political Science, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, 1990. Dissertation - The Electoral Impact of Tax: A Comparative Study of Sweden and Australia.
1984-1986: LittB in Political Science, Faculty of Arts, Australian National University, 1986. Dissertation - How Much is Enough? A New Approach to the Setting of a Rational Target for the Single Adult Unemployment Benefit Rate.
1977-1987: Private music teacher, Canberra
1977: Assistant Research Officer, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra
1976: BA (Hons 2A) in Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Australian National University
Main research leadership positions
Convener, Politics of Climate Change Project, 2006-present.
Director, Workshop on the Politics of Climate Change, European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions, Rennes, 11-16 April 2008.
Convened the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Comparative Political Economy, 1997-2006
Directed Workshops at European Consortium for Political Research Joint Sessions in 1995, 1999 and 2002
Coordinated international projects on the content of public policy in Britain, France and Germany, policy concertation in Western Europe, and the politics of radical unemployment policies in Western Europe
Main awards and prizes
- ESRC Small Grant RES-000-22-2147 to research and write my book Understanding Policy Change: A Policy Network Perspective, 2007-08
- Leverhulme Research Fellowship to research and write my book King Trends and the Future of Public Policy, 2004-05
- Grant from the European Commission to finance social partnership project, 1998-2000
- Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Strathclyde, 1991-92
- Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University, 1991
- Swedish Institute/Council of Europe Fellowship, Sweden, 1988
Teaching and administration
Teaching: undergraduate and postgraduate courses on political institutions and public policy.
Main administrative position: Director of Politics and Chair of the Politics Board of Studies, 2001-2004.