Dr Louise Reardon

Louise Reardon

Institute of Local Government Studies
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Government
Room 536, Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Louise Reardon is a Lecturer in Governance and Public Policy at the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV). She is co-editor of the journal Local Government Studies and co-Chair of the Governance and Decision Making Processes Special Interest Group of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS).

Louise’s research is at the forefront of knowledge at the interdisciplinary nexus of governance and public policy, transport, and wellbeing research. In particular, her research focuses on the role of multi-level governance and institutional policy networks in determining policy agendas and shaping policy outcomes.

Louise is co-director of the HeFi award winning Public Management and Leadership blended MSc and Executive Apprenticeship programme and Director of Post Graduate Research for INLOGOV. 


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


Louise is an interdisciplinary researcher, whose work spans the fields of political science and public policy, transport and wellbeing. Her research covers a broad range of theoretical interests, including the advancement of multi-level governance, policy networks, and agenda setting theories. Empirically, Louise’s work analyses a range of governance challenges in the transport sector, including barriers to integrated urban transport governance and the sector’s response to climate change. Moreover, Louise’s work explores the rise of the wellbeing agenda and its implications for policy and practice.

Before joining INLOGOV in 2017, Louise worked for two years as a Research Fellow in Governance and Transport Policy at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds.  


Louise is co-Director of the Public Management and Leadership Executive Apprenticeship and MSc. The programme won the HeFi award for educational innovation in 2019, for its innovative blend of online and on campus teaching. Louise is also INLOGOV’s Director of Doctoral Research.

Louise also co-leads a number of on-line, on campus, and blended INLOGOV modules:

Postgraduate supervision

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

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

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


Research interests

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


Current projects:

UNDER REFORM (ESRC/ICSSR): Louise is currently co-Investigator of ‘UNDERstanding Indian Urban Governance REFORM: A comparative analysis of the Smart City Mission reforms and their impact on sustainable urban mobility’. This project is running for two years from 1 May 2018 and is an Urban Transformations project, funded through the Newton Fund by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). It is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds, UK, the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) University of Birmingham, UK, the Department of Transport Planning, School of Planning and Architecture Delhi (SPA), India, the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India and the World Resources Institute.

This research has two primary aims. The first is to develop cutting edge, theoretically informed insights into the nature of mobility governance reform and the potential to generate more sustainable urban mobility in India. The second aim is to bring together, develop and inspire a community of researchers and practitioners to advance the study and understanding of mobility governance across India and between the UK and India. More information on the project can be found here. You can also follow the project on twitter: @UnderReform

Long-term institutional Change in the Wake of Crisis (IGI): Louise is co-Investigator of the project ‘Long term institutional Change in the Wake of Crisis: Understanding Implications for Energy-System Resilience’ and is funded by the Institute for Global Innovation (Resilient Cities theme). The project is in collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Loughborough University. The research focuses on energy resilience in Nepal in the wake of their 2015 earthquake. The aim is to ascertain the extent to which long-term institutional changes have been made in relation to energy supply and energy access in response to the earthquake (covering both infrastructure changes and governance processes), and analysing the extent to which these changes have the potential to create a more resilient energy system.


Previous projects:

DEMAND (RCUK): Louise worked as a research associate as part of the Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand Centre, funded by Research Councils UK. The Centre aimed to understand the social practices that determine the demand-side of energy and mobility demand. Louise’s research within the centre focused on the role of politics and policy in steering and shaping demand for mobility services

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. 


Reardon, L. (2018) ‘Networks and Problem Recognition: Advancing the Multiple Streams Approach’, Policy Sciences, 51 (4), pp. 457-476. DOI: 10.1007/s11077-018-9330-8

Marsden, G. and Reardon, L. (2018) (eds.) Governance of the Smart Mobility Transition. (Bingley: Emerald)

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.

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