Research in Politics at Stirling focuses on the internal and external challenges to European liberal democracy. Our work explores the impact of and interplay between internal pressures upon liberal democracies, such as devolution or the accommodation of minorities, and external challenges associated with the development of the European Union and the relationship with neighbouring countries outside of the EU. Within this context our research addresses questions of:
Under the auspices of the Centre for Human Security and European Neighbourhood Studies we are developing a growing strand of research centred on discourses of human security and the manner in which perceptions of threats to human security shape the political agendas at both national and EU level and structure the relationship between Europe and its neighbours.
Current Research Projects in Politics include:
Major Collaborative Research Projects Politics Research Projects
Current collaborative research projects in politics include:
The ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change was launched in October 2013. It forms a major part of the ESRC’s The Future of the UK and Scotland programme which ‘brings the best of UK social science to the debate about Scotland’s constitutional future and its implications for the rest of the UK … The programme will provide an authoritative and independent reference point for those looking for information and insights about the future of the UK and Scotland that stand aside from the politics of the referendum’. The Centre will focus in particular on: ‘Defence, Security and Constitutional Change; Intergovernmental co-ordination and representation in the UK and the EU; Monetary union, fiscal pacts and budgeting; Constitutional change and economic performance; the Constitution of Scotland; Constitutional options and policy-making capacity; Constitutional change and inter-generational inequality; and Preventative spending’.
We focus in particular on preventative spending and the ‘Scottish Policy Style’. ‘Preventative spending’ describes a broad aim to reduce the demand for public services by addressing policy problems at an early stage. The broad aim associated with ‘prevention’ is to reduce the government spending devoted to services to address severe social problems at a late stage. The Scottish Government’s particular emphasis is on reducing inequality by reforming public services (or at least the way they operate). ‘Scottish Policy Style’ refers to its reputation for closer cooperation with stakeholders and building policy delivery on trust in implementing bodies (when compared to the UK Government). We explore: (a) the potential for its consultation approach to be used to gather information and foster group ‘ownership’; and (b) the extent to which its approach to implementation is suited to a shift from short term targets to long term outcomes. Can it exploit advantages in relation to its size, with smaller government departments more able to make links across government, and senior policymakers more able to from personal networks with members of key stakeholder and delivery bodies?
This part of the project is directed by Professor Paul Cairney (firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @cairneypaul) and Emily St Denny (email@example.com) in cooperation with colleagues in Stirling, including Professor David Bell and Professor Kirstein Rummery.
For more information on the ESRC programme and Centre see http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/centre