Professor Colin Thain

Professor of Political Science

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Colin Thain

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 415 1052

Fax +44 (0)121 414 3496

Email c.thain@bham.ac.uk

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

About

Colin Thain is a political scientist and political economist who has been researching on the role of economic institutions and economic policy making for thirty years.

Feedback and office hours

Office hours:

Monday 11:30 - 13:00

Wednesday 11:30 - 13:00

or by appointment (please contact my PA Robert Goulding r.d.goulding@bham.ac.uk)

Qualifications

PhD Government (Manchester)

BA (Econ) (Manchester)

Biography

Colin Thain is a political scientist and political economist who has been researching on the role of economic institutions and economic policy making for thirty years.  He is best known for his work on the UK Treasury.  His current research project looks at the Treasury as a whole since the advent of New Labour in 1997. He has extensive links with senior Civil Servants in Whitehall and leading politicians and policy advisers.

Colin was Head of Department of POLSIS from October 2009 - September 2012, having spent earlier periods in his career at the Universities of Exeter and Ulster.

Teaching

British Political POLS 209 (year 2 UG)

International Political Economy G11 (MA)

Postgraduate supervision

  • Economic policymaking in the United Kingdom
  • The role of the Treasury
  • The role and power of the Bank of England
  • Comparative economic policy making
  • Comparative Central Banks
  • British Politics in general (ie role of PM, Parliament, devolution)
  • The political economy of the G7
  • Fiscal policymkaing

Research

Research interests

  • The role of UK State, particularly the role of the Treasury and Bank of England
  • The politics of economic policymaking
  • The politics of budgeting
  • Comparative budgeting
  • Role of Central Banks
  • The role of the G7

Current and recent projects

  • The Treasury under New Labour (ESRC funded project 2007-2010) Principal investigator (web site www.treasuryproject.org)
  • A Comparative Study of Budgeting in the G7 (co-director) Funded by the ESRC and Leverhulme Trust (completed in 2000)
  • The Treasury and Whitehall (co-principal investigator) Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Foundation, ESRC and Leverhulme (completed in 1993)

Other activities

Other professional appointments

Member of the Political Studies Association, British International Studies Association, American Political Studies Association, International Political Studies Association, and Institute for Fiscal Studies.  Also a member of the Royal Commonwealth Society

Publications

Thain, C. (2010), 'Budget reform in the United Kingdom – the rocky rock to “controlled discretion”’ in Wanna et al (eds), The Reality of Budget Reform: Counting the Consequences in 11 Advanced Democracies. .Edward Elgar,

Thain, C. (2009) ‘A very peculiar British Crisis? Institutions, ideas and policy responses to the credit crunch’, British Politics, 4, 4, pp 434-449.

Thain, C. (2004) ‘Treasury rules ok? The further evolution of a British institution’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol 6, pp 123-30

Thain, C. and Wright. M. (1995) The Treasury and Whitehall: Planning and Controlling Public Spending. Oxford, Clarendon Pres

Expertise

The role of the UK Treasury, how it plans public spending; the role of civil servants in Whitehall; the role of the Bank of England; the Budget; Autumn Statements; fiscal policy making; constitutional issues; British politics generally.  

Media experience

BBC Televison, BBC Radio, BBC Local Radio.

Expertise

The role of the UK Treasury , how it plans public spending; the role of civil servants in Whitehall; the role of the Bank of England

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