Stephen Barber

London South Bank University

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Reader in Public Policy at LSBU, Stephen Barber's research interests cover British politics and government, political economy and governance of international institutions including Transatlantic Economic Relations and the G20. He has published on political strategy and the City of London's financial markets.

Barber, Stephen. (2013). "Kicked in Touch: Football as a Proxy for Authenticity." British Politics Review, 8(2).
Barber, Stephen. (2013). :Principles or Practicalities? Parliamentary Salvage Attempts from the Wreckage of the House of Lords Reform Bill after 2012." Renewal: a Journal of Social Democracy, 24(4).
Abstract: Based on the author’s evidence before the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee and concentrating on efforts to achieve consensus over small-scale reform of the House of Lords following the collapse of the 2012 Reform Bill, this article reviews proposals under consideration by the Committee’s inquiry including fixed term appointments, retirement, removing inactive peers and a moratorium on new elevations. It remakes the arguments for some democratic legitimacy given the historical impetus behind reform and having demonstrated the shortcomings in the idea of the appointed composition reflecting votes cast at a general election, proposes the modest addition of 46 directly elected members. This, it is argued, could achieve political consensus and increase House of Lords legitimacy.
Barber, S. (2015). "Westminster’s Wingman’? Shadow Chancellor as a Strategic and Coveted Political Role." British Politics.
Abstract: A focal job of Westminster opposition, there is nevertheless a dearth of published analysis on the job of Shadow Chancellor. This article argues that the Shadow Chancellor is distinctive because of its strategic power over opposition policy and other shadow portfolios and offers a critique of the post for perhaps the first time. The article shows that: most Shadow Chancellors have leadership ambitions but demonstrates that their position is intertwined with that of leader; that they are unlikely to be reshuffled by the leader who appointed them; and, that new leaders usually appoint new Shadow Chancellors. Drawing on various data about the behaviour of post holders, it demonstrates that the Shadow Chancellor occupies a central coordinating role alongside the opposition leader and supports the ‘Westminster Model’ by acting as a combative critic of government and grounding leadership in the collegiality of Parliament. Nonetheless, it also shows that the Shadow Chancellor’s profile is strongest outside Westminster, in projecting the economic credibility of an alternative government.
Barber, S. (2014). "Stretched But Not Snapped: Constitutional Lessons from the 2010 Coalition Government in Britain." Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 52(4): 473-492.
Abstract: Taking as its point of departure Matthews' (2011) ‘Constitutional stretching: Coalition governance and the Westminster model (Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 49(4), 486–509), this article draws on the experience of coalition government in Westminster to review, categorise and consider how power sharing has necessitated a rethink of what is the British constitution. Defining constitutional stretching as being about the sustained operation of two-party government within the Westminster model, it shows that traditional practices around manifestos, collective responsibility and the prerogative have been adjusted since 2010 in order to facilitate functioning administration. The article observes that some stretching is not entirely novel with precedents to be found in earlier single party administrations. It further argues that while conventions have been strained, the Cameron/Clegg government survived, suggesting a need to adjust our understanding of constitutional concepts. Given the likelihood of future hung parliaments, this could mean more permanent constitutional change and the article makes some modest suggestions for updating guidance.
Barber, Stephen. 2013. "Arise Careerless Politician: The Rise of the Professional Leader’, Politics.
Abstract: Taking as its starting provocation Philip Cowley's ‘Arise, Novice Leader!’, this article contributes to the discussion of the nature of today's party leaderships. ‘Experience’, even for political office, should be viewed as ‘real-world’ work as much as time served in parliament. By quantifying non-political pre-parliamentary experience of post-war leaderships, I show both that current leaders are relatively ‘careerless’ and that this is not historically unusual. While Cowley's observation is that their parliamentary experience is also limited, by reintroducing ‘political experience’ into the numbers, I demonstrate that Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are among the most experienced leaders since 1945 in terms of total pre-parliamentary work but further removed from the ‘real world’ of those they represent. My argument is that in the contemporary context, such grounding at the top of politics partially explains the election of these professional leaders.
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9256.12030
Barber, Stephen (ed). 2005. The City in Europe and the World, London: ERF.
Barber, Stephen and Meyer, Henning. 2011. "Transatlantic Economic Relations as a Bridge," Economia e Lavoro Journal.
Barber, Stephen and Meyer, Henning. 2011. "Making Transatlantic Economic Relations Work," Global Policy Journal, Vol 2 Issue 1.
Barber, Stephen. 2011. Tragedy of Riches: How Our Politics Has Failed Us and Why We Need a New Economic Destiny, University of Buckingham Press.
Barber, Stephen and Brassey, Alex (eds). 2009. Greed, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Barber, Stephen (ed). 2007. The Geo-Politics of the City, London: Forum Press.
Barber, Stephen (ed). 2005. The City in Europe and the World, London: ERF.
Barber, Stephen. 2005. Political Strategy: Modern Politics in Contemporary Britain. Liverpool Academic Press.

Substantive Focus:
Economic Policy SECONDARY
Comparative Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History PRIMARY
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY