Access research-related news and information about politics. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.


Most recent features

Show all

Little impact on rent from benefit cuts

Feature | 21 July 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Reduction in housing benefit has had little impact on rents in the private sector, but some claimants have chosen to move to lower-rent areas or smaller properties, according to an analysis by the esrc-funded institute for fiscal studies and research ...

Connecting with voters through social media

Feature | 30 May 2014 | General public, Press/media

Despite the focus on how social media can mobilise voters. Research shows that more traditional face-to-face and phone techniques remain much more powerful in getting voters to the polls.

Choosing wisely

Feature | 03 April 2014 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Professor anand menon, research co-ordinator for the esrc initiative on 'the uk in a changing europe', discusses the uk’s complicated relationship with europe and the possible outcomes of a referendum on eu membership.

Towards independence?

Feature | 03 April 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Dr nicola mcewen, associate director of the esrc scottish centre on constitutional change, analyses the scottish government's white paper scotland's future, which builds the case for an independent scotland around the themes of democracy, fairness, a ...

Soaring dragon, stumbling bear

Feature | 24 February 2014 | General public, Press/media

Research supported by warwick's esrc centre on competitive advantage in the global economy show that the soviet union initially tried similar economic reforms as china - but without the same success.

Show us the money, say scottish voters

Feature | 22 January 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

New results from the scottish social attitudes survey, funded by the esrc and carried out by scotcen social research, suggest it's the economic consequences that matters the most to people.

Inequality after independence?

Feature | 21 January 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Becoming independent will not give scotland much more leverage to tackle inequality than currently, new research from the future of the uk and scotland programme suggests.

Questions of independence

Feature | 18 September 2013 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Today we’re one year away from the referendum on scottish independence, and the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps are drawing up the battle lines. But in the great debate some issues are less discussed than others.

The pros and cons of legalising cannabis

Feature | 17 September 2013 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Legalising cannabis would bring both benefits and disadvantages - but the current debate is much too limited, argues a report from the institute for social and economic research; there is a lack of hard evidence, and few of the most vocal participant ...

The syrian refugee crisis

Feature | 16 September 2013 | General public, International, Press/media, Schools

The crisis in syria has led to a huge stream of refugees fleeing the country. "the scale and pace of this mass exodus is nearly unprecedented," says dr jakub bijak at the esrc centre for population change.

Case studies

Most recent case studies

Show all

Research evidence for the pupil premium

Case Study | 14 July 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

The institute for fiscal studies and the esrc centre for the microeconomic analysis of public policy influenced the debate on the eventual shape of the 'pupil premium' scheme by confirming for policymakers that decisions made were based on solid anal ...

Changing the face of the high street

Case Study | 05 June 2014 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Research by professor neil wrigley and colleagues has helped transform thinking on food retail development, its role in sustaining viable town centres and the future of uk high streets.

Bringing academic insight to northern ireland talks

Case Study | 11 April 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Esrc fellow dr jonny byrne's six month placement provided the northern ireland office with a unique resource for analysing and understanding the contentious issues and challenges under discussion in the 2013 haass talks.

Reforming the portuguese vat system

Case Study | 15 April 2013 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Recommendations by professor rita de la feria led to reforms implemented in the portugal’s 2012 state budget which boosted the efficiency of tax and generated savings of 1. 2 per cent gdp.

Data lays foundation for alcohol pricing policy

Case Study | 01 March 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Datasets from the esrc-funded uk data service were used in a policy model which underpinned the scottish bill on minimum pricing of alcohol.

Worldwide response to welsh carrier bag levy

Case Study | 21 December 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

An academic survey of the carrier bag levy in wales has caused the welsh government to redraft its advice for businesses.

Hospital competition in the nhs

Case Study | 24 September 2012 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Government used esrc-funded research to inform its policies when increasing competition in the nhs.

Social science impact on the sure start initiative

Case Study | 15 June 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Public sector, Schools

Social science underpinned by esrc support played a major role in establishing and delivering the government's sure start initiative in 1999, which aimed to provide integrated early years services for disadvantaged groups.

Reviewing the dna database

Case Study | 15 January 2010 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Researchers pointed out flaws in the statistical evidence underpinning the dna retention policy, leading to a revision of the scientific work.

Waste management

Case Study | 26 March 2006 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Research led by professor simin davoudi investigating how policy and political pressures are influencing current processes across england have been central to new government guidance on waste policy.

Press releases

Most recent press releases

Show all

Women worldwide know less about politics than men

Press Release | 03 July 2013 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

Women living in the world's most advanced democracies and under the most progressive gender equality regimes still know less about politics than men according to a ten-nation study of media systems and national political knowledge funded by the econo ...

Urban conflict and divided cities

Press Release | 12 May 2011 | Academic, Business, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Urban conflict is nothing new in cities like belfast, jerusalem and major cities in the middle east. An international conference at queens’s university in belfast explores how cities have been shaped by ethnic, religious and national conflicts.

Don't privatise banks too soon!

Press Release | 28 January 2010 | Business, Policymakers, Press/media

Initial findings carried out under the esrc's world economy and finance research programme which comes to a conclusion with a conference in london on 28 january 2010 - a paper presented warns against privatising the recently nationalised banks too so ...

Scottish public sector - new leadership needed for new times says esrc report

Press Release | 04 June 2009 | Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

A fresh approach to public sector leadership is vital if the scottish government's vision of a more successful country is to realised - especially given challenges such as the current financial situation and a general loss of trust in leaders - accor ...

Saving the economy and saving the planet

Press Release | 21 April 2009 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Is the recession an opportunity to move away from some traditional, and environmentally unfriendly, industries to cleaner, greener industries to create new and sustainable employment?

Options for a new britain: a report card for britain

Press Release | 12 March 2009 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

The most ambitious independent policy review in the uk for over a decade is published this week and makes challenging reading for both government and opposition.

Why we hate politics

Press Release | 09 March 2009 | Press/media

The blame for the rise of an anti-political culture in britain rests with politicians not voters, two leading experts will argue at a debate at the forthcoming economic and social research council's festival of social science (6 - 15 march).

Plants are political hot potatoes

Press Release | 25 February 2009 | Policymakers, Press/media

A group of leading uk scientists and social scientists led by the esrc genomics forum, based at the university of edinburgh, calls for joined-up thinking on the emerging politics of plants.


Most recent grants

Show all

Transformative justice in tunisia and egypt

Professor Paul Gready | Socio Legal Studies | 13 January 2014

The arab world was shaken in 2011 by a series of popular movements, collectively known as the 'arab spring(s)'. Who is driving (and contesting) change, and what kind of change is being sought? this study addresses such questions in the context of the ...

Public opinion and the syrian crisis in three democracies

Dr Thomas Scotto | 01 January 2014

Recent horrific events in syria have shocked politicians and publics alike. They also have played a key role demonstrating the importance of public opinion in foreign policy-making.   emphasising the effects of public opinion on foreign policy c ...

Behaviour change and psychological governance

Dr Jessica Pykett | 31 December 2013

Drawing on insights from research disciplines such as behavioural economics, neuroscience and psychology, ‘behaviour change’ policies have been the subject of much media commentary, exploring charges of the 'nanny state' and psychological ...


Most recent outputs

Show all

Morality and school choice: an exploration of british social attitudes

Sonia Exley | 02 May 2014 | Impact Report

Debates have long existed in western societies over school choice questions such as whether parents ought to be able to pay to send children to private schools or otherwise to avoid local neighbourhood schools within an education market in favour of ...

Attitudes to migration and integration

Anthony Heath | 02 May 2014 | Dissemination / Communication

Paper presented at a workshop chaired by claude moraes, mep, on ‘migration and integration: the future of our communities’ at the european parliament, brussels.

Towards independence?

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Other publication/report

Article written by nicola mcewen for the esrc magazing 'society now' in which she analyses the scottish government’s white paper scotland’s future. Nicola mcewen highlights that the case for independence is built around three inter-linked themes: dem ...

Bbc one reporting scotland

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Audio/video recording

Nicola mcewen was interviewed for the report on scotland of bbc one on the uncertain consequences of a yes vote.

Small states in europe

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Seminar/workshop

Nicola mcewen contributed as chair to a seminar organised by michael keating on small states in europe. Discussions focused on capacities and constraints of small states to influence decisions taken in eu institutions. Nicola also kicked-off the disc ...

Independence debate

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Seminar/workshop

Presentation at the politics and international department's lecture series on the independence debate and the impact independence may have on scottish-uk relations. The event also served to present the different projects that were part of the applica ...

Who will decide the referendum outcome?

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Other

Blog post written by nicola mcewen following speculations about voters from firth of scotland having a decisive influence on the referendum outcome. She argues that demographic factors will offer little in explaining why people will vote yes or no th ...