Daniel Kenealy
Daniel Kenealy
School Quality Assurance Director; Lecturer in Public Policy
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
2.01 21 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 4080
UK Government Whitehall Scottish Government Intergovernmental relations Machinery of government Devolution and UK constitution UK political history Narratives and storytelling Sensemaking High politics and Statecraft


From Friday 21 September to Friday 30 November I will hold weekly open office hours between 1pm and 3pm. No appointment is required for meetings during these hours although advance contact by email is often useful. Outside of these hours, please email me to schedule a meeting.


After completing my PhD in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 I joined the School, initially as a Teaching Fellow in Politics & International Relations. I joined the Social Policy subject area in April 2015. Since September 2017, I am the School's Director of Quality (SDoQ), having previously served as a Special Adviser to the Senior Vice Principal (2016-2017), Director of the Master of Public Policy (2013-2016), Deputy Director of the Academy of Government (2013-2014), and Deputy Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (2012-2013).


My current research is broadly focused on the government and governance of the UK, combining historical methods, and extensive work in the UK National Archives and the National Records of Scotland, with an approach grounded in the 'traditions' school of government and public administration. I also draw on the narrative and storytelling, and sensemaking, literatures from organisational studies. More specifically, I am working on:

  • Whitehall debates about Scotland and devolution between the 1970s and the 1990s and the establishment and early development of the Scottish Executive and intergovernmental relations after devolution.
  • Whitehall traditions, practices and beliefs, and their impact on the machinery of government, during the Thatcher and Major administrations (1979-1997).
  • The organisation of 'the centre' of Whitehall, specifically support for the Prime Minister and the cultures and traditions of the Treasury, the Civil Service Department and the role of deputies to the Prime Minister within governance processes.
  • Intergovernmental relations in the UK after devolution, how they can be understood as manifestations of Whitehall practices, beliefs and traditions, and how they are creating major dilemmas for UK governance.

Outside of my core research I am interested in political biography and in depictions of politics, government and public administration in fiction, particularly on television and in novels and theatre.


My earlier research explored the history of European integration and the UK's constitutional politics before, during and after Scotland's 2014 independence referendum. I have published in journals including West European Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, Journal of European Integration, Millenium, European Security, European Law Journal, British Politics and Diplomacy and Statecraft.

I have presented my research at the University of Montreal, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. I have served as expert adviser to the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee and have presented oral evidence to that committee on several occasions as well as to the House of Commons' Scottish Affairs Committee.


In the 2018-2019 academic year:

  • Convener and lecturer, 'Social Policy and Society' (Undergraduate)
  • Convener and lecturer, 'Understanding Public Policy' (Undergraduate)
  • Convener, 'Social Policy MA Dissertation' (Undergraduate)
  • Convener, 'Government, Policy & Society MA Dissertation' (Undergraduate)
  • Personal tutor, 4th year Social Policy students