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The Warwick Commission

The Warwick Commission was established by the University of Warwick in 2007 with the aim of drawing on the scholarly expertise of Warwick academics as well as practitioners and policy makers to address issues of global importance.

In the best traditions of intellectual discovery, the Warwick Commissions are charged with carrying out independent analysis of a particular issue with the goal of making practical and realistic recommendations about how to move it forward.

The aim of the Commissions is to make thought provoking contributions to the debate thereby assisting policymakers to find solutions to sometimes seemingly intractable problems. The activities of the Commission and its Reports are intended as an exercise in public policy informed by rigorous scholarly and analytical thinking. It is an excellent demonstration of the importance of good multidisciplinary social science to public policy.

Previous Commissions

Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth


In November 2013 the University of Warwick launched the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value. The University saw it as a legacy of the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics which so successfully realised the role that arts, industry and public service play in making British culture a source of national pride.

The Commission was led by Vikki Heywood CBE, Chairman of the RSA, and brought together a group of high-profile artists, policy-makers, business leaders, opinion-influencers and economists to serve as Commissioners. Unlike other work on cultural value we wanted to take a truly holistic view. Warwick’s ambition is that the Commission will influence all sectors of UK society to understand how our culture is made and to engage positively with the arts. We intend that the Commission’s work should offer an authoritative and constructive contribution to policy discussions and public attitudes in relation to arts and culture in the lead-up to the General Election in 2015.

The Warwick Business School and the Faculty of Arts, with their strong track record of research and policy development within the cultural industries, led the Commission which was funded and hosted by the University of Warwick.

The Directors of Studies were Professor Jonothan Neelands, Associate Dean of Creativity at Warwick Business School, and Dr Eleonora Belfiore, a high profile researcher in the area of the social impact of the arts in the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at Warwick. They contributed specialist expertise and experience in the areas of cultural policy and value; evaluation; and skills and talent development in the cultural sector, and provided intellectual support for the work of the Commission.

Read the 'Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth' Report

Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership


The previous Warwick Commission was on the subject of Elected Mayors and City Leadership. With the Localism Act now passed into law, the Commission set out the challenges and opportunities presented by the government's proposals to introduce elected mayors in core cities in England over the next two years.

The Localism Act makes provision for the creation of directly elected mayors, subject to confirmatory referendums, in England’s largest cities. Referendums in some or all of those cities are likely to take place in May 2012. Where the outcome is a ‘yes’ vote, elections could begin to take place in November 2012.

The Commission will answer the key question: “What is the role of elected mayors in providing strategic leadership to cities?” The purpose of the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors and City Leadership is not to judge whether directly elected Mayors are the right system of democratic governance as this will be a matter for electors. Rather, the Commission will consider the optimal scale and structure for the offices of elected mayor if one or more city votes to adopt the system. The Commission is strictly party and candidate neutral and will open its work and deliberations to any stakeholder with an interest in the subject of elected mayors, city leadership and governance including those running referenda campaigns.

In Praise of Unlevel Playing Fields


In a pathbreaking report on reforming the international financial system in the wake of the global crisis, an international commission makes five key recommendations that they believe will enhance financial stability.

The current international financial crisis asks us to rethink our answer to an important question: what are our financial systems for? The Warwick Commission on International Financial Reform provides an answer by bringing together a range of world-class economists, political scientists, and lawyers to explore how we can best enhance international financial stability through regulation that is sensitive to variations in what countries want from their financial systems. The Commission has identified key reforms for a well-regulated financial system. Among these reforms is a stress on dealing with boom-bust cycles, introducing macro-prudential regulation, recognising the need for a better allocation of risks among financial institutions, dealing with issues of regulatory capture, and bolstering national rules with international coordination to promote international financial stability.

Read the 'In Praise of Unlevel Playing Fields' Report

The Multilateral Trade Regime: Which Way Forward?


This Report examines how the multilateral trade regime can better serve the global community.

It does so by asking if the sustained and uneven transformation of the global economy, with the associated rise of new powers, heightened aspirations, and considerable pockets of societal discontent, require a reconsideration of the principles and practices that currently guide the multilateral trade regime, the core of which is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Having considered this question, the Warwick Commission sees five challenges facing the multilateral trade regime – challenges that can be addressed more effectively than at present if the steps proposed here are taken. Our approach is guided as much by the practical realities of the contemporary trading regime as it is informed by analyses of long-term trends and national and regional circumstances.

Read the 'The Multilateral Trade Regime: Which Way Forward?' Report