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The Team


Chris SkelcherProfessor Chris Skelcher
Professor of Public Governance, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham.

Chris is the Director of the project, and also leads Pillar 3, examining the comparative angle of ALB reform, both internationally and sub-nationally.

Research interests: My research concentrates on the way in which ideas about democracy and governance interact with the institutions and behaviours through which public policy is performed. The main focus is on governmental activity at arm’s length to elected political authority – including citizen-centred governance, networks and partnerships, quangos, and public-private partnerships.

I am particularly interested in extending the methodological repertoire that can be employed in interpretive studies of these issues, including the use of Q methodology, quality of democracy analysis, technology assisted research, and comparative cross-national analyses.

For more information about Chris, click here.


Politics LecturerProfessor Matthew Flinders
Professor of Parliamentary Governance and Government, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.

Matt is the leader of Pillar 1, which focuses on the reforms arising from the Public Bodies Act (2010).

Research interests: I am currently working on the following issues: modes of depoliticisation; governance and public policy; legislative studies with a focus on parliamentary scrutiny of the executive and the extended state; majoritarian modification and constitutional reform; territorial and functional decentralisation; the politics of patronage and public appointments; and a set of broader issues that rotate around the theme of political disengagement.

For more information about Matt, click here.


Professor Anthony BertelliTony Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli is Professor of the Politics of Public Policy and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Research in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. In addition to his post at NYU Wagner, he is Professor of Public Policy Analysis in the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at University College London.

Tony leads on Pillar 3, which is modelling durability of public bodies and their functions.

Research interests: These are focused on issues of governance, centering on the role of political institutions in shaping public policy outcomes and organizational structure.



leanne1-300x300Dr. Leanne-Marie Cotter

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Political Institutions and Democratic Reform, Crick Centre, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.

Leanne joined the team in autumn 2014 and has been working with Professor Flinders on Pillar 1.

Her research interests focus upon institutional reform; governance and public policy; legislative studies; parliamentary scrutiny; constitutional reform; policy design and implementation; service delivery; policy transfer and policy learning. The focus of her research is Britain but with a growing interest in South-East Asia.


Dr,Eleanor,Mackillop-191x156 Dr. Eleanor MacKillop

Formerly Research Fellow, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, and now Research Associate, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool.

Eleanor spent 4 months with the team in 2015, working with Professor Skelcher on a study of the creation of advisory bodies. She is now researching ‘The Governance of Health: Medical, Economic and Managerial Expertise in Britain Since 1948’ at Liverpool University.

Her research interests relate to issues of policy-making and organisational change in government, within a genealogical and critical logics approach.



andrew sinclair Dr. J. Andrew Sinclair

Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Policy, at the Wagner School of Public Service, New York University.

He has mostly been involved with Pillar 3, performing quantitative analysis on the original datasets collected through this project.

His research interests are in democratic accountability, in public administration, electoral institutions, and political behaviour.  In following those interests, he has worked on diverse projects ranging from the study of election reform in California to Public Bodies in the UK.


Kate DommettDr Katharine Dommett
Lecturer in the Public Understanding of Politics Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.

Kate worked on Pillar 1 with Professor Flinders, and also assisted on the work in the other two pillars. Kate moved on from the project to become a Lecturer in the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield.

Research interests: My research interests focus primarily upon the intersection between ideas, institutions and actors. These themes have inspired an interest in ideology, the role of ideas in contemporary politics, political rhetoric and the interaction between ideas and institutions. I also have a keen interest in themes of democratic disengagement and participation. I have pursued this interest by conducting knowledge exchange work with Sheffield City Council and working with the Hansard Society as part of Colin Hay and Gerry Stoker’s ESRC ‘Anti-politics’ project.

For more information about Kate, click here.


Katie TonkissDr Katherine Tonkiss
Lecturer is Sociology, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University.

Katie is worked on Pillars 2 and 3 with Professors Skelcher and Bertelli, but also assisted on the work of Pillar 1. Katherine moved on from the project to become a Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University.

Research interests: My core research interests include: democratic governance and citizenship (local, national, supra-state and post-national); the relationship between globalisation and local/national governance and citizenship rights; supra-state/global democracy and accountability; post-national citizenship rights; and, bridging normative and empirical dimensions of research.

For more information about Katie, click here.


79b572bfbff3e87e286f3c24015ac28f[1]Marc Geddes
PhD Student, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.

Marc’s PhD currently explores the linkage between legitimacy, democracy and patronage, specifically exploring the ways in which parliamentary scrutiny of ALBs has changed with respect to public appointments.

Research interests: I’m interested in a vast range of political topics that go beyond my PhD thesis, but a central hook or focus of all my work has so far been related to the concept of legitimacy. Other areas that I’m interested in include: British politics, political ideology, parliamentary governance, the role of parliament in delegated governance, depoliticisation, contestation, epistemology and political philosophy.

For more information about Marc, click here.


HaramLeeHaram Lee
PhD Student in Public Policy and Management, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California.

Haram is working on Pillar 3 with Professor Bertelli.

Research interests: I am interested in the political influence on public management in terms of principal-agent problems and democratic accountability. I am also interested in taking a comparative approach, comparing governments across time or internationally.


The research is funded by the ESRC, building on a pilot project on ‘Political commitment to quango reform’ supported by the Nuffield Foundation and undertaken in 2011 by Chris Skelcher with Dr. Chris Moores, School of History, University of Birmingham.