The Constitution Unit


Andrew McDonald

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Andrew McDonald has been an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit since 1997. With Robert Hazell, he established the Unit's long-running seminar series on information policy. In 2004 he created a joint programme of seminars for the Unit and for the Constitution Directorate of the (then) Department for Constitutional Affairs. He has recently completed a project for the Unit on the governance of Alderney (see report below).

He trained as a historian (at St John's, Oxford and at Bristol, completing a PhD on British public expenditure policy, 1919-1925). His first publications were on historical topics and on the use of evidence by historians. While the Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford in 1996-97 he began to work on information policy. In 2005-06 he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, researching a book on constitutional reform and national identity in liberal democracies. More recently, he has begun to work on questions of disability and ill health.

He has written on modern British history, information policy, constitutional reform and national identity. He has edited three books:
  • Open Government. Freedom of Information and Privacy, with Greg Terrill (Macmillan, 1998)
  • Electronic Records (ICA, 2005)
  • Reinventing Britain. Constitutional change under New Labour (Politico's and University of California Press, 2007)

He joined the Civil Service in 1986 and has worked in a number of departments. In the last decade he has worked in strategy, change and leadership roles, with a particular focus on constitutional reform. He was the first CEO of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, leading its establishment on appointment in 2009. He retired, on medical grounds, in 2014.

He is chair of Scope, the disability charity and is an associate of the Institute for Government.

Related links

Alderney's Choices: A report on how the island is governed