About the IoG: 1999-2014


Text Panel In Canongate Wall At The Site Of The Scottish Parliament Complex

The Institute of Governance at the University of Edinburgh was a major centre of research expertise on on nationalism, national identity and constitutional change, and territorial politics. The Institute, established in 1999 under the founding directorship of Alice Brown and David McCrone, grew out of the Unit for the Study of Government in Scotland and its successor, the Governance of Scotland Forum. Subsequent The Institute's subsequent Directors were Charlie Jeffery, Nicola McEwen, and Michael Rosie. The Institute was formally wound up in August 2014 but it's excellent research and knowledge exchange continues through various research groups and Centres.

The Institute's research reflected the University's unparalleled expertise in four key areas - nationalism and identity; territorial politics; public policy; and elections, public opinion and parties - and its staff and associates were (and still are) engaged in a wide-range of research projects and networks in these fields. Latterly the Institute was also a focus of expertise in a new field of collaborative research on energy governance, with a wide range of projects and expert academic contributions across the social sciences. Each of these projects drew upon a wealth of insights from, and engagement with, practitioners in business, policy, law, engineering and natural sciences.

From the days of the Unit in the early 1990s, the Institute carried out both qualitative and quantitative research on national identity, examining changing national identities in England and Scotland since devolution. Extensive work on public opinion in Scotland and England has continued, and is continuing. British and Scottish Social Attitude surveys, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, tell us about how people in England and Scotland think about national identity and why they choose to describe themselves as they do. This work will culminate in a book by David McCrone and Frank Bechhofer to be called Understanding National Identity, and published by Cambridge University Press in early 2015.

The Institute's research on territorial politics explored the distribution of power and power relations between territorial communities and governments within the state. Much research in this field examines the dynamics of devolution in the UK within a broader comparative context. Further work addressed political behaviour, including gender quotas, electoral law, campaign finance reform, electoral systems and the public opinion industry. The Institute's policy and governance research explored policy making processes with particular attention to the role of knowledge and actors in the making of policy and the governing of contemporary societies.

Please explore these webpages to learn about the rich research and policy heritage of the Institute of Governance, as well as the wide variety of groups and institutions which continue its work.

Michael Rosie, Director, Institute of Governance, August 2014.

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