Owen A.M. Williams

Research Details

DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - Political & Cultural Studies

SUPERVISOR(S) - Dr Dion Curry & Professor Jonathan Bradbury


THESIS TITLE - Exploring the Significance of Epistemic Communities for the Development of Multi-Level Governance Arrangements: Cultural Heritage Policy in Wales & Québec

Research Synopsis

My study hypotheses that experts (conceptualised using the epistemic communities framework) significantly contribute to the development and spread of multi-level forms of governance.

Furthermore, it is suggested that epistemic communities can enhance policy legitimation within multi-level governance (MLG) systems by encouraging participatory forms of governance and subsidiarity, particularly in cases of divergent policy preferences between two identity groupings.

I will utilise a comparative case study approach, employing a ‘most-similar’ cases model, which includes extensive semi-structured interviews with a range of participants and supported by process tracing methods. The case study areas concern recent cultural heritage legislation within Wales and Québec respectively.

Theoretically, this work aims to demonstrate a mutually-reinforcing relationship between epistemic communities and multi-level governance, with the former a potential evolutionary driver of the latter.

Practically, I hope to show the deeper consequences of expert engagement in public policymaking, informing current debates on the role and value of experts.

Image of wales seaside