Devo Manc research projects

The University of Manchester is home to a number of research projects working on different aspects of devolution.

These research projects are studying how devolution occurs in different areas of policy across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Arts and culture

Abigail Gilmore is developing a public policy and research exchange network exploring the implications of devolution for the arts, creative and heritage sectors and cultural policy across the north.

Crime and policing

Research examining the introduction of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners is being undertaken by Francesca Gains and Vivien Lowndes, (University of Birmingham). In Greater Manchester, this reformed role will become part of the responsibilities of the directly elected metro mayor, an innovation which may develop in other areas under devolved arrangements. This research is linked to the European Research Council funded Understanding Institutional Change.

Devolving race?

This project, led by Bethan Harries (Hallsworth Research Fellow in Sociology), examines the impact of devolution on ethnic and racialised minorities. It raises questions about the extent to which devolution has the potential to shape new forms of inclusion and exclusion by examining how the agenda contributes to shifting narratives of nationalism and understandings of citizenship. This project is funded by the Hallsworth Fellowship scheme.

Economic development

How is the governance of growth and the politics of austerity in Northern England impacting in real terms on people lives? Iain Deas, Graham Haughton, Stephen Hincks, and Kevin Ward are working on a series of linked projects to answer this question.

The first phase of research has focused on the consequences of austerity in two contrasting Greater Manchester locations: Oldham and Trafford. The second phase is examining successive attempts to bolster metropolitan growth across the North West, from the Mersey Belt in the 1970s through to Devo Manc and the Atlantic Gateway in the present.

Health and social care

The Health Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) Greater Manchester funded-project Devolving health and social care: learning from Greater Manchester is evaluating, understanding and sharing the experience of health and social care devolution in the Greater Manchester area with a range of stakeholders. Its large research team are considering three broad topics: mapping plans for improvements in the way services are delivered; understanding policy development and the policy process; and describing and analysing governance, accountability, and organisational forms.

The project is co-led by Kieran Walshe and Ruth McDonald.

The impact of devolution on patient health and the costs and utilisation of health care services

This Health Foundation funded project seeks to estimate the impacts plans to improve patient health and reduce demand and costs in the region’s health care system will have. The project involves Alex Turner, Matt Sutton, Luke Munford and Sean Urwin in the Manchester Centre for Health Economics

Inclusive governance

Jam and Justice is an action research project investigating how to create more inclusive and just governance arrangements. Liz Richardson and a team including the Universities of Salford, Manchester and Birmingham and the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) will use live demonstrator projects to test different social innovations in decentralised governance. The projects will be co-designed by community research partners in an Action Research Cooperative (ARC) across Greater Manchester.

Inclusive growth

A new Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (IGAU) led by Ruth Lupton and established with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is aiming to ensure that poverty reduction is central to UK growth and devolution agendas. IGAU will provide research, analysis, and policy and practice guidance in order to support the achievement of that goal.

Making devolution work differently: Housing and transport in Greater Manchester after devolution

This Alliance Manchester Business School Strategic Investment Fund project is exploring the work that devolution is doing with regard to housing and transport in terms of the reconfiguration of governance, infrastructural change and new flows of foreign direct investment.

The project involves Julie Froud, Mike Hodson, Andy McMeekin, Mick Moran, Anne Stafford,  Pam Stapleton, Hua Wei and Karel Williams.

Mobilising austerity: The urban politics of public health after the global financial crisis

Cristina Temenos (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography) is analysing the relationship between austerity programs and their effects on public health service provision in Manchester, Athens, and Budapest. The project will identify the economic, political and social stresses involved in providing spaces of care to marginalised communities as traditional forms of state service provision are disrupted through austerity-led restructuring and the pressure for innovation and competition for resources increases. This project is funded by the Urban Studies Foundation.

Powerhouse pioneers: Promoting political participation

This is a research project led by Sarah Marie Hall and Laura Pottinger that responds to the concerning absence of youth voice and experience in debates about devolution and the Northern Powerhouse. Working with young people from across Greater Manchester, the research evaluates the impacts of work being undertaken by Manchester youth engagement charity RECLAIM to encourage meaningful and sustained youth engagement in discussions about and transitions toward Devo Manc. The research aims to understand how organisations like RECLAIM work to facilitate inter-generational justice to ensure that young people are not marginalised in processes of significant political change.

SCATTER - Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emission Reduction

Carly McLachlan and colleagues at Tyndall Manchester are working with Anthesis Consulting and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to develop an energy and emissions pathway tool to help cities plan for a low carbon future, as well as monitor and report on their emissions.

Spatial rebalancing for Northern England: Alternative models and future scenarios

For almost a century, the 'North/South' divide in England has preoccupied politicians and policy-makers. Despite this, the UK economy remains stubbornly reliant on London and the South East, whilst many Northern towns and cities are economically underperforming their European counterparts. This ESRC-funded project, sponsored by Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North, assesses attempts to rebalance the UK economy and seeks to offer alternative models of economic development for Northern England. PhD researcher Tom Arnold is supervised by Cecilia Wong, Stephen Hincks and Nuno Pinto.

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