INLOGOV Alumni E-Magazine

Welcome to our fourth INLOGOV alumni e-magazine. INLOGOV has a long history of innovation, improving local services and supporting local democracy. We aim to bring current issues and practice to our research to impact positively on policy and practice.

Introduction from the Head of Department

jason lowther

Welcome to our first Alumni e-mag of the new academic year.  We’ve had a busy month, welcoming new full-time and part-time students including several new Degree Apprentices from councils who haven’t been involved in the programme previously.  Our second in-person alumni event in October went well, with Dr Barry Quirk sharing his reflections about lessons on leading through a crisis, building on his experiences following the Grenfell Tower fire.  And we are looking forward to our next seminar, on community asset transfers, which takes place on Thursday 30th November (12.00-2.30pm at our Edgbaston campus). 

This e-mag edition focuses on ‘working with others’, a vital topic for everyone in local public services.  

We start with some intellectual ear candy – we’ve handpicked three fantastic podcasts where you can have your thoughts provoked by some of our finest academics exploring government relations with the private sector, leadership approaches to achieve lasting change, and whether democracy is in real trouble.  

Our ‘Meet Your Peers’ section spotlights some remarkable research by our alumni.  Ellen Vernon, Xinrui Liu, and Nick Rice completed dissertations aiming to uncover the keys to effective partnerships, government-third sector relations, and the impact of New Public Management in the education sector.  Their key insights are summarised for you here. 

In ‘Staff Spotlight’, Alice Moore shares her inspiring journey from a civil servant in the UK Cabinet Office to a PhD candidate breaking down the complexities of government relationships with private and non-profit organizations. 

Are you ready to be a part of groundbreaking research? Our team is updating the influential "21st Century Public Servant" project. We want your insights on how public servants have adapted to the challenges of the past decade. So, please take a few minutes to make your voice heard through the survey. 

The original research sought to explore the changing roles undertaken by public servants and their associated support and development needs. 

Mark your calendars for our Brown Bag sessions.  These informal online gatherings are back for another year. If you're working in or around local government, it's the perfect opportunity to connect and brainstorm. Our next sessions are on November 7th and December 14th, so be sure to join the mailing list for updates. 

Lastly, as part of our programme of Continuous Professional Development for our alumni, we present important new insights on collaborative governance and public policy from Prof. Helen Sullivan. As always, the INLOGOV blog is buzzing with insightful commentary.  Dive into recent articles for a fresh perspective on local government, collaboration, and the digital cities of tomorrow. 

So, there you have it – our jam-packed e-mag that's bound to tickle your intellectual taste buds. Enjoy the read, explore the links, and stay curious. We'll be back soon with more exciting updates.  Please get in touch or pop in to visit us anytime.

Jason Lowther Head of the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP) and Director of INLOGOV 


In this issue of the INLOGOV Alumni e-magazine:

A microphone in front of a computer screen

Local Government Podcast

In this edition, we would like to recommend three podcasts featuring academics from across INLOGOV, DPAP and the broader the School of Government. Alice Moore, Assistant Professor at INLOGOV, was featured in UCL’s Uncovering Politics podcast talking about relationships between governments and private sector suppliers. Prof. Christopher Pietroni of the Birmingham leadership Institute discusses with guests what kind of leadership is needed if you want to make real, lasting change in the Leadership Exchanged podcast. Colleagues at The Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR) recently released an episode asking the question ‘Is democracy in trouble?’ in the People, Power, Politics podcast.

Staff Spotlight - Alice Moore

Alice MooreMeet Alice Moore who is Assistant Professor in Public Management and Public Policy. Alice recently joined the University of Birmingham, and is currently completing her PhD in Political Science at University College London. Prior to starting her academic career, Alice was a civil servant working for Government Digital Service, part of the UK Cabinet Office. She researches public procurement and governments’ relationships with private and non-profit organizations, focusing on the ways in which different methods of public service delivery affect the quality of public services and the nature of interactions between citizens and government. She introduces her current research on the tensions for governments between developing productive and collaborative working relationships with their suppliers and maintaining competition for their contracts


A group of students sat around a table discussing work

Meet Your Peers

Read about outstanding dissertation research conducted by our alumni. Ellen Vernon’s research investigates the necessary conditions to move towards effective partnerships. Xinrui Liu zooms in on government and third sector relations and constructing collaborative governance in service contracting. Nick Rice explores the impacts of New Public Management in the education sector and how hyper accountability affects early career teachers.

A man using a tablet computer

INLOGOV blog highlights

We would like to draw your attention to the INLOGOV blog which features regular commentaries on current issues. Some recent contributions on topics related to this edition’s theme, Working with others, include a piece from Dr. Mohammad Tarikul Islam on local government as an inclusive political institution, and another from Cllr Ketan Sheth on how local councils and the NHS can work together as trusted equal partners. Collaborating with others is also important to develop local leadership for digitalisation for the public good, writes Dr Timea Nochta in a piece on shaping tomorrow’s (digital) cities. Dr. Veronika Vakulenko explores the reasons why local governments might decide to merge instead of collaborating and/or co-delivering services.  

Read the INLOGOV Blog