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Governance and public policy‬

Welsh Assembly debating chamber

The ways in which countries are governed and public policy is developed is a focus for our world-leading research.

Our public management academics were recently ranked 3rd in the world for the quality of their research by the Public Management Journal.

A £1 million investment in the Wales Governance Centre (WGC) puts it in a pre-eminent position in the study of devolution and governance both in Wales and in the UK. Based in the National Assembly for Wales' Pierhead Buiding, the centre holds particular expertise on public attitudes, elections and voting behavior, multi-level governance and administration.

WGC undertook ESRC funded studies of the 2011 Welsh Referendum and Welsh Assembly election. Participation in the Citizenship After the Nation State Project (with Edinburgh) resulted in collaboration with institutions in four European member states.

In 2012, the European Commission recognized the Centre for European Law and Governance as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. The Centre is a focus for continuing dialogue and engagement on European policy, in Wales, London and Brussels. Most recent work has included perspectives of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent for the UK IPO.

Local government organisation has been a key focus for a number of our academics.

The Centre for Local and Regional Government Research's (CLRGR) findings on the impact of size on local authorities led to the coalition government halting local government reorganization in England.

CLRGR's research into the use of targets, performance indicators and external inspection to assess council performance also led to the Labour government's decision to reduce its number of national performance indicators. The same research was used by the Conservative Party in its manifesto commitment to reduce local government inspections.

Strength in public policy research made Cardiff the natural home for the Public Policy Institute for Wales. The Institute draws on existing knowledge and expertise to provide Welsh Government ministers with access to tailored expert advice designed to inform decision making, and to support the Government in identifying research needs and links across different research areas.

The Institute has also been funded by the ESRC to oversee a programme of research into what works in tackling poverty, child neglect and destitution.