Welsh Policy and Politics in Unprecedented Times

Location The Mall Room, Taliesin Create, Swansea University Singleton Campus
Date 24 May 2019

Austerity, further devolution of powers, issues such as an ageing population and climate change, and of course Brexit are all important conditions and events leading to uncertainty, instability and an unprecedented situation in Welsh policy and politics. These issues affect how and why policy is made and services are delivered. This is also an opportune time requiring reflection and analysis, where multiple stakeholders – ministers, civil servants, politicians, professionals, academics and citizens – are reviewing and redefining the purpose and outcomes of policy and politics in Wales.

Held in partnership with the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), this one-day event brought together academics at all stages of their career, as well as representatives from Welsh Government and civil society, to discuss these questions, current and future practices, and opportunities for Welsh policy and politics.


The day was as follows (links to the available PowerPoint presentations are to the side):

Panel One: Knowledge and evidence in Wales and its role in policy-making

Discussant: Anna Nicholl (Wales Council for Voluntary Action)

Michelle Black (University of Sheffield), Claire Beynon (Public Health Wales), et al: ‘Learning across the UK: A review of public health systems and policy approaches to early child development since political devolution’

Paul Worthington and Helen Hodges (Cardiff University): ‘The nature and scale of debt to public services and the citizen perspective: A poverty of evidence?’

Nerys Edmonds and Liz Green (Public Health Wales): ‘Synthesizing emerging evidence to promote and protect health and well-being in uncertain times: A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Brexit in Wales’

Helen Hodges (Cardiff University): ‘Have we got the right data to solve the problem? Variations in the rates of looked-after children in Wales’

Devolution and Brexit – ‘in conversation’ with Jo Hunt and Hugh Rawlings

Professor Jo Hunt and Dr Hugh Rawlings discussed Brexit, the devolution of new powers to Wales, and the role that various Welsh policy stakeholders – government, the legislative powers, civil society and universities – can play.

A transcription of these videos can be downloaded to the side/below.

Part 1 – Professor Jo Hunt

Part 2 – Hugh Rawlings

Panel Two: Theories and methods in policy change: A Welsh and devolved perspective

Discussant: James Downe (Cardiff University)

Dr Andrew Connell (Wales Centre for Public Policy): Can mesogovernments use meta-governance tools to tackle complex policy problems?

Elizabeth Woodcock (Bangor University): ‘Collaborative research, integration of interests and cross-sector delivery of policy’

Daniel Roberts (Swansea University): ‘Entrepreneurship policy in Wales’

Panel Three: The future of policy and politics in Wales

Discussant: Leighton Andrews (Cardiff University)

Leighton Andrews (Cardiff University): ‘Welcome to Ukania: a provocation’

Bob Smith (Cardiff University): ‘Delivering affordable housing in Wales in challenging times’

Rachel Minto and Alison Parken (Cardiff University): ‘What will we do without the EU? Promoting equality in post-devolution Wales’

Ian Stafford (Cardiff University): ‘Never so close, but never so far away? Exploring perceptions of trust and transparency in Wales’

Poster Presentations

Esther Dorado Ladera (Academia Europaea): ‘Making sense of science under conditions of complexity and uncertainty’

Sara O’Shea (Swansea University): ‘Big ideas in a micro village: Evaluating a young persons’ supported housing project in Llanelli’

Suzanna Nesom (Cardiff University): ‘The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) and the formulation of wellbeing plans’


Professor Jo Hunt and Hugh Rawlings give an overview of their ‘in conversation’ discussion:


One of the event organisers, Dr Matthew Wall, Associate Professor in Politics at Swansea University praises the event, and it’s outcomes:


Below is our Twitter moment from the day: