Mr Alistair Jones

Job: Associate Professor and University Teacher Fellow

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Research group(s): Local Governance Research Centre

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078787

E: anjones@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/pol

 

Research group affiliations

Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC)

Publications and outputs

  • Alike in Diversity? Local Action Groups in Nine European Countries
    Alike in Diversity? Local Action Groups in Nine European Countries Jones, Alistair; Copus, Colin; Lysek, Jakub; Krukowska, Joanna; Navarro, Carmen Local Action Groups (LAGs) are seen as an integral part in the development of rural economies across the EU. They are a strong network of interaction between the local state and society. Yet what is unclear is the extent to which LAGs operate in a similar manner across different countries. Their remit is detailed clearly through the EU; their activities and operations, however, may differ significantly. For example, in some countries LAGs operate beyond the rural environment. This chapter explores the diversity and uniformity of the LAGs included in the survey, to assess the self-perceptions of their role and importance to civil society. Lysek, J., Krukowska, J., Navarro, C., Jones, A. and Copus, C. (2022) Alike in Diversity? Local Action Groups in Nine European Countries. In: Björn Egner, Hubert Heinelt, Jakub Lysek, Patricia Silva, and Filipe Teles (eds.) Perspectives on Local Governance Across Europe: Insights on Local State-Society Relations, pp. 310-317
  • Putting the action into Politics: embedding employability in the academic curriculum
    Putting the action into Politics: embedding employability in the academic curriculum Jones, Alistair; Lishman, Ros Employability is one of these concepts that polarises opinion. There are those who see it as an integral part of student education and learning, and those who see it as undermining conventional academic study. In this paper, we argue it is a key part of student learning experiences and use a case study of a particular module—'Politics in Action'—to highlight the potential benefits to students. This should be seen in conjunction with the rest of a degree programme, where employability maybe embedded but not prioritised. Student feedback reinforces the potential benefits of prioritising employability in one part of a degree programme, while acknowledging the beneficial spillover into other areas of study. There is, however, potential resource cost in adopting this type of approach to delivering such a bespoke module. It is far from being a conventional module, but the impact and benefits to student learning and understanding are clear. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Jones, A. and Lishman, R. (2022) Putting the action into Politics: embedding employability in the academic curriculum. European Political Science,
  • Teaching Local and Regional Governance
    Teaching Local and Regional Governance Jones, Alistair This paper examines how local and regional governance is taught, using the subject of the UK as a case study. The topic is particularly challenging because the UK does not have a standardised system of regional and local government. Each of the four countries is different. Added to that, the system in England is not uniform, and the concept of a 'regional' identity is not strong. As a consequence, the teaching of this subject differs in each of the countries. In Scotland, for example, priority is given to the Scottish Government over the Westminster Government. Local government, in all systems, is sadly neglected, but to varying degrees. A further complication is how to teach the systems of UK regional and local government to non-UK nationals, be it overseas students studying in the UK or teaching the subject matter overseas. Having experiences of both, I will draw on these in illuminating both the difficulties and the rewards in teaching this subject matter. Jones (2022) Teaching Local and Regional Governance. Conference paper submitted to the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) annual conference in Innsbruck
  • The Ministerial Code of Conduct and Standards in Public Life – what on earth happened?
    The Ministerial Code of Conduct and Standards in Public Life – what on earth happened? Jones, Alistair Boris Johnson’s legacy is long-term damage to the concept and operation of ethical standards in government and public life Jones (2022) The Ministerial Code of Conduct and Standards in Public Life – what on earth happened? In: Mair, J., Beck, A. and Connew, P. (eds.); Boris Johnson: Media Creation, Media Clown, Media Casualty? Mair Golden Moments
  • The very complex intra-state relations in England
    The very complex intra-state relations in England Jones, Alistair Local and regional government in England is complicated. There is no uniform structure, with some parts of the country having one tier of local government while others have three and a regional tier. This is exacerbated by a constitutional set-up which centralises power or encourages a top-down approach to devolving power. Further, the centre controls the purse strings. Despite this rather bleak picture, local and regional government can be an exceptionally good deliverer of services. Pressures have been brought to bear to make them more cost-effective; a knock-on of which is to see greater public interest in the proceedings of local and regional government - although not necessarily at the ballot box. The development or restructuring of local and regional government in England is very much conducted in an ad hoc manner. The consequence of which is this complicated structure. Jones, A. (2022), The very complex intra-state relations in England. In: Copus, Kerley and Jones (eds); A Modern Guide to Local and Regional Politics. Edward Elgar. pp. 218-233
  • Conclusion: intra-state government - a stable dynamic
    Conclusion: intra-state government - a stable dynamic Copus, Colin; Jones, Alistair; Kerley, Richard Copus,C., Jones, A. and Kerley, R. (2022) Conclusion: intra-state government - a stable dynamic. In: Copus, Kerley and Jones (eds.) A Modern Guide to Local and Regional Government. Edward Elgar. pp. 335-344
  • Introduction: setting the scene
    Introduction: setting the scene Copus, Colin; Kerley, Richard; Jones, Alistair Kerley, R., Copus, C. and Jones, A. (2022) Introduction: setting the scene. In: Copus, Kerley and Jones (eds); A Modern Guide to Local and Regional Politics, Edward Elgar. pp. 1-14
  • Self-reflection as an assessment for Public Administration students: have we reflected on why we are doing it?
    Self-reflection as an assessment for Public Administration students: have we reflected on why we are doing it? Jones, Alistair; Lishman, Ros The use of self-reflection as part of an assessment component, or a summative assessment, is becoming widely utilised, across many academic disciplines. In professional courses, such practices are long-established. There is a suggestion, however, that self-reflection may mean different things to different academic disciplines. What is often unclear, for example, is why such an assessment is included in the learning strategies of a given module. It could be part of the learning package undertaken by students - to encourage them to reflect upon why they have undertaken particular aspects of study and what has been achieved as a result. This is a type of reflective questioning. Alternatively, for undergraduate students, it could be about developing a particular skill for use in a future work environment - we all undertake some type of appraisal. Finally, for some academic colleagues, it may be about the perception of reducing the marking burden, through self-assessment and self-rating. There are many things to consider here. Are the aims of these assessments explained clearly to the students? Can the students make the links between conducting self-reflection and applying it to another arena? Do the students take such assessments seriously? For many professional courses, such questions may elucidate much more positive answers. In this respect, the emphasis of this paper is very much upon our experiences in politics and public administration. There is also the issue of the perception of reducing the academic burden by undertaking such assessments. The reality is that - to do the job properly - it is likely to take longer to facilitate the assessment. The marking may also take longer if there is a need to examine the 'evidence'. This message will permeate throughout the paper. This paper will examine the issues around 'why' self-reflection may be a valuable part of assessment for both students and staff. It will include the case studies of two second-year modules in the Department of Politics, People and Place, which have forms of self-reflection embedded in their assessment strategies. The self-reflection aspect of these modules assessments comprises different modes and assessment weightings. There are variable experiences in these modules as to the value of these assessments. This paper will not be uncritical of the strategies undertaken in the modules with self-reflection as part of the assessment. The aim is to give careful consideration as to why such a form of assessment can be a valuable tool in developing a student's academic development and enhancing their potential employability, while also highlighting the drawbacks. Self-reflection is not the "all singing, all dancing" assessment that many may consider it to be. The context of the assessment needs to be explained clearly for the students to gain the maximum possible benefit from undertaking such an exercise. It could be questioned as to whether or not self-reflection is fit for purpose? To address this question, consideration must be given as to the purpose of the assessment. Jones, A. and Lishman, R. (2021) Self-reflection as an assessment for Public Administration students: have we reflected on why we are doing it? Paper presented as part of a Roundtable discussion on Teaching and Learning at the Public administration Committee (PAC) annual conference, De Montfort University (online), 7-8 September 2021
  • Too Big to be Local: Local and National Elite Complicity in the Narrative of English Council Mergers
    Too Big to be Local: Local and National Elite Complicity in the Narrative of English Council Mergers Copus, Colin; Jones, Alistair; Wall, Rachel Copus, C., Jones, A. and Wall, R. (2021) Too Big to be Local: Local and National Elite Complicity in the Narrative of English Council Mergers. In: Marta Lackowska, Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska and Filipe Teles (eds); Local Government in Europe: New Perspectives and Democratic Challenges. Bristol University Press
  • Self-reflection as an assessment: have we reflected on why we are doing it?
    Self-reflection as an assessment: have we reflected on why we are doing it? Jones, Alistair; Lishman, Ros The use of self-reflection as part of an assessment component, or a summative assessment, is becoming widely utilised, across many academic disciplines. In professional courses, such practices are long-established. There is a suggestion, however, that self-reflection may mean different things to different academic disciplines. What is often unclear, for example, is why such an assessment is included in the learning strategies of a given module. It could be part of the learning package undertaken by students - to encourage them to reflect upon why they have undertaken particular aspects of study and what has been achieved as a result. This is a type of reflective questioning. Alternatively, for undergraduate students, it could be about developing a particular skill for use in a future work environment - we all undertake some type of appraisal. Finally, for some academic colleagues, it may be about the perception of reducing the marking burden, through self-assessment and self-rating. There are many things to consider here. Are the aims of these assessments explained clearly to the students? Can the students make the links between conducting self-reflection and applying it to another arena? Do the students take such assessments seriously? For many professional courses, such questions may elucidate much more positive answers. In this respect, the emphasis of this paper is very much upon our experiences in the social sciences. There is also the issue of the perception of reducing the academic burden by undertaking such assessments. The reality is that - to do the job properly - it is likely to take longer to facilitate the assessment. The marking may also take longer if there is a need to examine the 'evidence'. This message will permeate throughout the paper. This paper will examine the issues around 'why' self-reflection may be a valuable part of assessment for both students and staff. It will include the case studies of two second-year modules in the Department of Politics, People and Place, which have forms of self-reflection embedded in their assessment strategies. The self-reflection aspect of these modules assessments comprises different modes and assessment weightings. There are variable experiences in these modules as to the value of these assessments. This paper will not be uncritical of the strategies undertaken in the modules with self-reflection as part of the assessment. The aim is to give careful consideration as to why such a form of assessment can be a valuable tool in developing a student's academic development and enhancing their potential employability, while also highlighting the drawbacks. Self-reflection is not the "all singing, all dancing" assessment that many may consider it to be. The context of the assessment needs to be explained clearly for the students to gain the maximum possible benefit from undertaking such an exercise. It could be questioned as to whether or not self-reflection is fit for purpose? To address this question, consideration must be given as to the purpose of the assessment. Jones, A. and Lishman, R. (2021) Self-reflection as an assessment: have we reflected on why we are doing it? Conference paper presented to the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) annual conference, 30 August-3 September 2021, online, hosted by University of Innsbruck

Click here to view a full listing of Alistair Jones' publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

“Where has all the Public Administration gone?”  This won the award for the best paper at the PAC annual conference 18-19 July 2012

Research interests/expertise

European Union, elections, English Parish Councils

Areas of teaching

British Politics

Politics of the European Union

Qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Political Science (Canterbury, New Zealand)
  • MA Political Science (Canterbury, New Zealand

Courses taught

Introduction to British Politics, Politics in Business, Politics of the European Union, Britain and European Integration

Honours and awards

  • Best Paper Award, PAC annual conference, Plymouth, July 2012
  • University Teacher Fellow, DMU, August 2014
  • Long Service Award, DMU, March 2017
  • Research Oscars, Faculty of Business and Law, DMU, for Research Engagement in the Media, July 2019

Membership of external committees

  • Public Administration Committee, member of the Executive Committee since 2008
  • Joint University Council, member of the Executive since 2008
  • European Urban Research Association, member of the Executive Committee since 2019

Projects

  • Parish Councils in England
  • Local Government engagement with civil society. I am working on the English part of this European project

Forthcoming events

I am co-convening the PAC annual conference at DMU, September 2021

 

Conference attendance

R. Lishman and A. Jones; "Putting the Action into Politics: Embedding Employability in the Academic Curriculum" Paper to the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) annual conference (virtual), 24-29 August 2020

“Parish Councils – a real resurgence?” Paper to the PAC (Public Administration Committee) annual conference, University of Northumbria, 17-18 September 2019

Convenor of a panel for the ECPR annual conference, “Teaching Politics and IR to Non-Subject Students”, Wrocław, Poland, 4-7 September 2019

“Teaching Public Affairs – The Cinderella Subject of Journalism Courses” Paper to the ECPR annual conference, Wrocław, Poland, 4-7 September 2019, with Tor Clark

Speaker at a Faculty seminar at Liaoning National University, China, entitled “Me and My Teaching” 7 November 2018

 “Parish Councils and Councillors: a resurgence in the most local tier of government in England?” Paper to the ECPR annual conference, Hamburg, Germany 22-26 August 2018

“Are we doing them a dis-service? Preparing students to study overseas: a case study of Chinese students and British Culture” Paper to the ECPR annual conference, Hamburg, Germany 22-26 August 2018

“Are we learning from the old? A case study of Welsh local government restructuring” Paper to the European Urban Research Association (EURA) annual conference, Tilburg, Netherlands, 20-23 June 2018

“Restructuring Local Government - It's not just central interference: A case study of Wales” Paper to the ECPR 2017 Annual Conference, Oslo, Norway, 6-9 September, 2017

 “What is 'Good Governance'? A Model of 'Good Governance' for restructuring English Local Government” Paper to the EURA 2017 Annual Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 21-24 June, 2017

“Combined Authorities: Urban imperialism or loss of urban identity?” Rachel Wall and Alistair Jones. Paper to the EURA 2017 Annual Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 21-24 June, 2017

"Independent Politics in Wales: Diverse practices but needing a permanent presence” Paper to the EURA 2016 Annual Conference, Torino, Italy, 16-18 June 2016

C.Copus and A.Jones; "Restructuring Welsh Local Government: Lesson-learning from New Zealand", EURA annual conference, "Transforming cities, transformative cities" University of Lucian Braga in Sibiu, Romania, 17-20 September 2015

T. Clark and A.Jones; "Teaching Public Affairs - the Cinderella Subject of Journalism courses", UK Association for Journalism Educational annual conference - The Future of Journalism Education, University of Greenwich, 25-26 June 2015

T. Clark and A.Jones; "Not what they want but what they need - teaching Politics to Journalism students" Student Transitions - the Triad of Understanding Learning and Teaching conference, De Montfort University, 3 September 2014

 "Junior Ministers: Are they really political eunuchs?", PAC annual conference, Edinburgh, 9-11 September 2013

“Where has all the Public Administration gone?”  PAC annual conference, 18-19 July 2012. This won the award for the best paper at the conference

 

Key articles information

Copus, C. and Jones, A. 'Welsh Local Government Association Literature Review on Council Size: Commission on Public Service Governance & Delivery Service Provider Consultation'

Consultancy work

Worked with the Council of Europe to advise the Parliament of Ukraine on ethics and accountability in local government, 2017; compiled a literature review to inform the Welsh Local Government Association's submission to the Williams Committee on public sector governance and delivery, 2014. Currently available

Current research students

  • Rachel Wall, full time, second supervisor
  • Lynn Wyeth, part-time, second supervisor

Media work

Below are some of my most recent media appearance:

11 December 2020  - BBC Asian Network, where I discussed the state of play in relation to the Brexit negotiations

7 December 2020  - RT UK, where I discussed the impact of the Internal Market legislation (which was returning to the House of Commons) and the impact on the Brexit trade negotiations.  Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA0IhKJg7w4

1 December 2020  - BBC Radio Leicester, where there was an interview on one month until the end of the Brexit Transition Period, and what is likely to happen

29 November 2020  - Sputnik International, where I discussed the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle in the New Year.  Available at https://www.companynewshq.com/coronavirus-news/bojo-is-in-difficult-balancing-act-if-stays-on-as-both-pm-and-conservative-leader-professor-says/

23 November 2020  - Sputnik UK, where I discussed the possibility of a No Deal Brexit.  Available at https://player.fm/series/radio-sputnik/no-brexit-deal-for-britain-if-the-uk-doesnt-abide-by-eu-state-aids-rules-says-professor

19 November 2020  - RT UK, where I discussed the possibility of a backbench rebellion over plans to extend the Covid lockdown.  Available at https://www.facebook.com/RTUKnews/videos/growing-tory-group-could-rebel-against-johnson/1052708958503670/

15 November 2020  - Daily Express, where I was interviewed over the impact of the US Presidential election results on Brexit (available at https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1360012/brexit-news-uk-us-trade-deal-boris-johnson-joe-biden-internal-market-bill-northern-ireland), and on Keir Starmer and Labour's anti-semitism inquiry

3 November 2020  - RT UK, where I examined the future of the Union

ORCID number

orcid.org/0000-0002-4540-563X

alistairJones