Policy Exchange

Policy Exchange is the hub where we explore the implications of our research for engagement, dissemination and impact.

Doctoral student at hearing at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament

Wednesday 6 July 2016: our Flemish doctoral student Laura Harth spoke at a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament on the right to know. Laura is funded by the South West Doctoral Training Centre with a collaborative ESRC scholarship. She is supervised by Claudio Radaelli and Claire Dunlop. The hearing gave MPs the opportunity to learn about the campaign of the Nonviolent Radical Party for the universal transition towards the Rule of Law and the recognition of the Human Right to Know by the United Nations. Participants included Franco Fratini, President of the Societa Italiana per l’Organizzazione Internazionale and former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant’Agata, President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law and former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Matteo Angioli, Secretary General of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law; Maurizio Turco, Treasurer of the Nonviolent Radical Party; and Sergio D’Elia, Secretary General of Hands Off Cain.

The Foreign Affairs Committee is chaired by Hon. Fabrizio Cicchitto who introduced the hearing with words of praise for the late Marco Pannella and words of encouragement for the campaign. Several MPs strongly endorsed the campaign, among them Gea Schiro, Khalid Chaouki and Edmondo Cirielli.

Laura, who spoke in perfect Italian, said: “I stressed the importance of the Right to Know as an autonomous right, essential to the full application of the Rule of Law also in democratic systems. I also argued that citizens should have the opportunity to ‘know more about the right to know’ because this affects their daily lives as shown by the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry, which for us is the symbol of what happens when the right to know is denied. Finally I informed the MPs of the scholarship granted by the SWDTC and thanked Exeter and my supervisors for the opportunity to study this topic scientifically, with a PhD thesis in political science’.

The entire hearing was broadcast live and is now available in the archive of Radio Radicale, in Italian. Read more.

Politics academic runs natural environment management workshop with Scottish decision makers

Dr Duncan Russel ran a workshop, with colleagues from the University of East Anglia and the James Hutton Institute, which brought together a range of representatives Scottish organisations responsible for managing the natural environment.

The workshop drew on findings from Dr Russel’s work on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on Project to explore barriers and sticking points to embedding knowledge about the value of the natural environment in decision-making. It then considered how these barriers can be overcome to facilitate the implementation of the New Scottish Land Use Strategy.

Dr Russel said, 'our research provides important lessons for improving the management of the natural environment. This workshop provided an excellent opportunity to work with key decision makers in Scotland to start thinking about how our findings can be used to enhance their implementation of key natural environment policy goals.'

CEG meetings with World Bank officers

Last week the World Bank organised a set of six meetings between Claudio Radaelli and different WB officers, to discuss the lessons drawn from his recent projects on regulation and discuss ways to generate co-creation of knowledge during the next months. Claudio also gave a presentation at the brown bag seminar series in the Global Governance Practice series last Wednesday.

The trip was funded by the ESRC impact acceleration fund (grant for impact cultivation awarded to Claudio and Claire Dunlop). See a dozen photos from Claudio's phone at our FaceBook page.

MPA student publishes op-ed article in the Jakarta Post

MPA student Arif Budy Pratama has published an op-ed article, 'Nudging and regulating', in the Indonesian National Newspaper, The Jakarta Post, on 15 April 2016.

Arif was inspired by the lecturers on the MPA programme and through his article is hoping to introduce an alternative to the government in shaping public policy in Indonesia.

Read the article here.

Arif Budy Pratama is a Chevening scholar, studying for a Master’s degree in public administration at Exeter.

Exeter alumnus in Foreign Affairs: Breaking Congo’s Glass Ceiling

Exeter and CSSIS alumnus Tom O’Bryan (2013) has published an article with Foreign Affairs magazine titled "Breaking Congo's Glass Ceiling: Gender Politics in the DRC."

Tom’s article profiles the activists, advocates and political candidates leading the fight for increased gender equality in Congolese politics, as the country once again approaches a time of great uncertainty and instability. Read more.

Guiding policy communication: Moving beyond ‘Elf and Safety’s gone mad’

Dr Claire Dunlop has been awarded an ESRC Impact Acceleration Accont Project Co-Creation award. Her project builds on previous collaboration between Claire and the >Health and Safety Executive researching health and safety ‘myths’. This project will develop sector-specific training resources, guidance and evaluation materials with which the HSE can inform and reform practice in three key policy sectors where health and safety myths dominate, and evaluate how the different ways of constructing and communicating health and safety messages affects perceptions of those messages among key audiences. The results will enable the HSE to reframe how it communicates its message on myths to key groups.

Understanding ‘Independence’ in a complex regulatory context —
Madalina Busuioc addresses the management board of the European Food Safety Authority

Co-production of knowledge is about working with regulatory bodies and stakeholders and critically engage them on the aims and social expectations about EU regulation. A key yet contested concept is ‘independence’: what does it mean today? How should a public regulatory body try to pursue independence, while still being responsive to its stakeholders? In December 2015, Dr Madalina Busuioc (Centre for European Governance, Lecturer in Politics) was invited to give an expert talk on ‘Independence’ in Parma (IT) before the management board of the European Food Safety Authority, European Union's chief scientific and regulatory body for food safety. Madalina has published widely on the promises and pitfalls of various approaches to accountability and transparency.

In her talk, Madalina argued for tailored and conscious institutional approaches to independence, for the adoption of arrangements that are 'fit for purpose' (as opposed to blanket solutions), reinforced and aligned with agency needs, mission and key audience expectations. The talk was followed by a reflective session with the audience. The audience included EFSA's Management Board, the Executive Director, the Head of the Legal Office and other key agency staff as well as the Director-General of DG SANCO of the European Commission and his Head of Unit responsible for 'Relations with Agencies and Advisory Groups'. EFSA is in the process of revising their institutional policy on independence.

Setting the agenda for the right to know

A human rights conference held at the Italian Parliament at the end of July heard from Professor Claudio Radaelli, head of the Centre for European Governance, and Laura Harth, a PhD student at Exeter. Laura was deputy project coordinator for this international event in Rome, dedicated to the universality of human rights and the right to know.

Ministers, MEPs, and human right activists from Europe (France, Iceland, UK and the Netherlands), the MENA region and Asia, were among those who attended the conference, which was supported by the Italian Foreign Affairs Department. The Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, provided a passionate endorsement of the political initiative to establish the right to know at the United Nations, just before Professor Radaelli took the floor to speak about research at Exeter on policy instruments, accountability and the control of corruption, including Laura’s PhD project on the emerging right to know, which extends this research. Laura took the floor for the last session, reading to the assembly a new declaration on the right to know signed by all the participants.

Listen to Claudio’s presentation (English Translation)

Right to know - Read the conference programme.

Doctoral student, Jonathan Kamkhaji, has worked on a WB assignment in Botswana concerning regulatory reform and business climate

A fundamental aim of the Centre for European Governance is to engage with policy reform agendas in government and international organisations and to produce ‘usable knowledge’. In this context the Centre has developed links with the World Bank over the years and produced scientific papers for their regulatory reform programmes — as evidenced by our REF-2014 submission. This academic year one of our doctoral students, Jonathan Kamkhaji, has worked on a WB assignment in Botswana concerning regulatory reform and business climate.

Why our Centre and why this particular student? First, Jonathan has a background in both economics and political science, having studied for a PhD in economics in Turku before moving to Exeter. At the Centre for European Governance, Jonathan worked as research fellow in an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council on regulatory governance and learning, developing methodological skills in coding, analysing, appraising regulatory impact assessments — as well as communicating research findings to different audiences.

Whilst the WB is not short of consultants, consultancy firms typically propose a standard repertoire of solutions to the problem of the client. In this case however the problem was one of triggering a process of reform rather than ‘selling a tool’. Jonathan — with a senior officer from the WB — engaged the stakeholders of regulatory reform in a process of learning involving dialogue, capacity building, and co-creation of know-how. Upon completion of this assignment, the government of Botswana has endorsed the wider follow-up strategy suggested by the team.

Engaging the Public in Busting Euro-Myths

Claire Dunlop and Claudio Radaelli — two political scientists at the Centre for European Governance — hosted a public engagement event which brought together Elisabeth Sweeney of the European Parliament’s Information Office and members of Exeter’s University of the 3rd Age (U3A) to explore situations where we wrongly believe that the European Union (EU) is responsible for initiatives that come from other places — for example, regulations that come from other international institutions or from our government. These have become known as ‘Euro-myths’.

The event, on Friday 27th March 2015, was inspired by research our political scientists are carrying out into the impact of Euro-Myths on the UK debate about membership of the European Union (EU). Claudio said: “We shared views about the EU, but also memories of post-war Europe. It wasn’t the classic talk, but a genuine exchange, exploring together the fundamental reasons that bind us together in a community of peace where human rights, rule of law and free markets are protected by institutions. Democracy is in crisis at the level of the nation-state, and has not yet materialized at the level of the EU. This is the challenge — everything else is the politics of myths, nostalgia and fear”.

Elisabeth said: “Despite the UK having been a member of the EU since 1973 there seems to be a general knowledge gap about how the EU functions. The session with the U3A and the European Parliament Information Office at Exeter University was a valuable opportunity to explore some of the reasons for this. The lack of an information campaign by the government, limited learning in schools as well as misrepresentation or lack of interest to cover EU stories by the Media have all led to Euro-myths taking hold. A very engaged U3A audience made for a lively and interactive session which covered a wide range of issues relating to the role of the UK government and Parliamentary scrutiny committees and the role of elected MEPS in EU decision making."

Carol McCullough of the Exeter U3A University Liaison Team said: “75 members of Exeter U3A had the opportunity to engage with both academic staff of the University of Exeter and a representative from the Information Office of the European Parliament in London. We had a stimulating and informative session which gave us a clear insight into how wary we should be of the myths about the EU which are peddled in our national press, particularly in this election year”.

Funding for the event came from the Jean Monnet Chair in Political Economy awarded to Professor Radaelli for the period 2015-2017.

Listen to Claudio’s remarks: https://clyp.it/di0lvh4j

Access Elisabeth Sweeney's presentation.


From experiment to institutionalization? The Spitzenkandidaten procedure in the European Union, January 2015

The new procedure for the appointment of the President of the European Commission spawned a lively debate across Europe

Further to the key note speech delivered by Prof. Shackleton at the summer school on European Integration organised by the University of Agder (UiA, Kristiansand, Norway), our PhD candidate Roberto Baldoli developed a short commentary with Shackleton himself and Dr Stefan Gänzle (University of Agder). The commentary was published by the leading think tank on European public policy, CEPS, based in Brussels. Now Roberto shares with our readers an extended analysis, interpreting the Spitzenkandidaten procedure as the institutionalisation of 'best practice', as well as possible way forward for the implementation of article 17(7) of the Lisbon Treaty.

Our staff has contributed to the UiA summer school on European Integration since 2011.


Study uncovers the reasons behind health and safety myths, January 2015

New research from the University of Exeter uncovers the complex range of factors that contribute to the incorrect use of health and safety.

Dr Claire Dunlop analyses the first two years of submissions to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Myth Busters Challenge Panel (MBCP) — 272 cases in all. Set up in April 2012, the Panel allows members of the public to challenge incorrect or over the top decisions taken in the name of health and safety by non-regulators — such as employers, health and safety consultants, insurance companies, leisure companies, retailers, schools and so on. It concludes that the rise of health and safety myths in the UK cannot be attributed to a single cause or combination of causes. Rather, the research uncovers a complex range of factors that recur in the incorrect use of health and safety.

Read more.


Engaging the Public and Policy-Makers in Busting Health and Safety Myths, December 2014

Politics Senior Lecturer Dr Claire Dunlop hosted a public engagement event which brought together civil servants from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and members of Exeter’s University of the 3rd Age (U3A) to explore the roots of health and safety myths. Find out more.

Read the report

Access Dr Dunlop’s presentation.

Access the HSE’s presentation.

Lawmaking and smart regulation, Feitura das Leis, November 2014

Professor Claudio Radaelli travelled to Portugal to present a major report on lawmaking to the Portuguese Parliament.. The report on lawmaking and smart regulation, Feitura das Leis, was inspired by ground-breaking research by the Centre for European Governance (CEG), and Professor Radaelli has advised on and contributed to all stages. It was presented to the Portuguese Parliament (Assembleia da República) on 28 November 2014 by Professor Radaelli and the report’s authors, a team of lawyers based at Nova University.

Feitura das Leis flyer

Feitura das Leis programme

Listen to the presentation By Claudio Radaelli below.



Launch of the OECD Framework for regulatory evaluation 17 June 2014, The Hague

  • Programme
  • Lead presentation by Dr Christiane Arndt, OECD
  • Supporting research paper by Radaelli and Fritsch
  • Presentation High-Level meeting in the The Hague, 2014 on the OECD framework on regulatory evaluation. Listen below.


UKAID — World Bank — Dutch Government Better Regulation for Growth Programme

The Better Regulation for Growth (BRG) Program is a joint initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and FIAS, the investment climate advisory service of the World Bank Group.

Two expert papers were prepared by CEG:


Exeter Roundtable on the usage of social sciences in policy making, Exeter 2012