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Professor Michael Kenny – How should the UK govern itself in the time of Brexit?

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28/03/2019 | 5pm
SG1/2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

Professor Michael Kenny is the Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, where he leads research in place and public policy, and re-making government in the 21st century.

He will be giving his inaugural lecture for the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge entitled ‘How should the UK govern itself in the time of Brexit?’


British politics has been riven by the result of the EU Referendum of June 2016. But what does Brexit mean for the way in which the UK should itself be governed? This lecture explores this question, focusing in particular upon some of the increasingly apparent strains in its internal territorial constitution. It situates the conflicts associated with the Northern Irish border and the devolved governments in a historical perspective, and seeks to explain why territorial issues have become so deeply politicised in the 21st century – and now in the English heartland, as well as beyond it. And it makes the case for a new blend of self-government and shared government across the UK, and more place-sensitive public policies, if the domestic union is to withstand the current crisis in British politics. 


Before he arrived in Cambridge, Michael held positions at: Queen’s University, Belfast; the University of Sheffield, where he was appointed Head of Department; and Queen Mary University of London, where he was the inaugural Director of the Mile End Institute. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the UCL’s Constitution Unit, sits on the Leverhulme Trust’s Advisory Committee, is co-director of the British Academy’s “Governing England” programme, and is a member of an external experts panel convened by the Scottish Parliament to advise on the constitutional implications of Brexit.

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