Dr Louise Reardon

Louise Reardon

Institute of Local Government Studies

Contact details

School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Louise is a lecturer at the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV). Her research is principally concerned with transport governance and the politics and policy of wellbeing.


  • PhD in Political Science, University of Sheffield, 2014 (Quality of Life and Transport Policy)  
  • MA in Governance and Public Policy, University of Sheffield, 2009
  • BA (hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Durham, 2008


Louise joined INLOGOV as a lecturer in 2017. Before this she was a Research Fellow in Governance and Transport Policy at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.


Postgraduate supervision

Louise is keen to supervise PhD students in her areas of research expertise and interest, including:

  • Agenda setting
  • Policy change
  • Policy implementation
  • Multi-level governance
  • Wellbeing and quality of life
  • Transport policy

Please contact her for an informal chat about the topic you have in mind.


Research interests

Louise has been at the forefront of research into the politics and policy of wellbeing; uncovering how wellbeing has come on to international and domestic political agendas and its potential to be paradigm changing for public policy, moving us 'Beyond GDP'. Louise has worked to promote a wellbeing-led approach to policy within the transport sector in particular; working with stakeholders including the Department for Transport, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to better understand the links between transport and wellbeing, and the barriers and opportunities to embedding wellbeing in policy practice.

Louise is also very interested in the governance challenges the transport sector faces in light of a plethora of disruptive innovations affecting the sector (such as electric vehicles, automation and the 'shared economy') and the implications of these innovations for economic, social and environmental wellbeing. To this end Louise has worked with the DEMAND Centre to analyse the ways in which the issue of energy demand is problematized within the transport sector, and how government policy can be said to 'steer' energy demand, seeking to encourage whole system rather than siloed thinking on this issue.

Theoretically, Louise's research has focused on advancing understanding of agenda setting and policy-change processes in the context of multi-level governance, and to this end has contributed to advancing the applicability of Kingdon's Multiple-Streams Approach to agenda-setting within the modern-day policy context.

Other activities

Louise is co-Chair of the Governance and Decision-making Processes Special Interest Group of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS). The aim of the special interest group is to transform the ways in which the formation and delivery of transport policies are understood within the research community and amongst policymakers and practitioners, with the aim of accelerating the adoption of more inclusive and sustainable transport futures.


Marsden, G. and Reardon, L. (2017) Questions of governance: Rethinking the study of transportation policy, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 101, 238-251.

Bache, I. and Reardon, L. (2016) The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing: Understanding the Rise and Significance of a New Agenda. (London: Edward Elgar).

Bache, I. and Reardon, L. (2016) ‘The “Wicked Problem” of Wellbeing: Theorising the Prospects for Policy Change’ in T. Tachibanaki (ed.) Advances in Happiness Research: A comparative Perspective, pp. 23-38 (Japan: Springer)

Bache, I. and Reardon, L. and Anand, P. (2015) ‘Wellbeing as a Wicked Problem: Navigating the Arguments for the Role of Government’, Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, pp. 1-20

Bache, I., Reardon, L., Bartle, I., Flinders, M. and Marsden, G. (2015), ‘Symbolic Meta-Policy: (Not) Tackling Climate Change in the Transport Sector’, Political Studies, 63 (4), pp.830-851.

Bache, I. and Reardon, L. (2013) ‘An Idea Whose Time has Come? Explaining the Rise of Well-Being in British Politics’, Political Studies, 61 (4), pp.898-914.

Reardon, L. and Abdallah, S. (2013) ‘Well-being and Transport: Taking Stock and Looking Forward’, Transport Reviews, 33 (6), pp.634-657

View all publications in research portal



Expertise in the governance and public policy challenges associated with the transport sector's response to the climate change challenge, and also the smart mobility transition (including automated vehicles, ride sharing, electronic vehicles). Also the links between transport and wellbeing and governance for improved wellbeing.