Past Events

The Wales Governance Centre has hosted a number of key politicians, academics and commentators. Below is just a selection of our previous events.

Italy and Brexit

Public talk by Raffaele Trombetta, Ambassador of Italy to the United Kingdom

February 2019, Pierhead

The Wales Governance Centre hosted a talk and Q&A session with Raffaele Trombetta, Ambassador of Italy to the United Kingdom.

Switzerland and the EU: Reflections for the UK

October 2018, Cardiff University

The Wales Governance Centre hosted a lecture and Q&A session with Alexandre Fasel, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom.

As part of his visit to Wales, the Ambassador outlined the nature of Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union and EFTA, and reflected on possible scenarios for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

In Conversation with Ron Davies

July 2018, Pierhead

Ron Davies is a former Secretary of State for Wales, Member of Parliament and Assembly Member, and is widely credited as being the architect of devolution.

Ron Davies steered the Government of Wales Act 1998 through parliament, implementing the result of the 1997 referendum and creating the National Assembly for Wales.

Twenty years on from the first Government of Wales Act, Ron gave his verdict on the past, present and future of Welsh democratic devolution.

Nye Bevan and the Creation of the NHS

June 2018, Pierhead

70 years on since its formation, the NHS remains a cherished institution in the United Kingdom. It continues to be revered as one of the most important achievements in British political history.

Aneurin Bevan has achieved a significant legacy due to his role as the Minister of Health and Housing responsible for overseeing its creation. He has since been held up as a giant in both Welsh and British politics.

In this special lecture to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Bevan’s biographer, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, discussed Bevan’s role in its creation and the importance of both Bevan and the institution itself.

“The End of British Party Politics?”

June 2018, Cardiff University

Professor Roger Awan-Scully and the BBC’s Felicity Evans launched his new book, “The End of British Party Politics?”

The packed audience heard how electoral choices across Britain have become increasingly differentiated along national lines over much of the last half-century. In 2017, for the second general election in a row, four different parties came first in the UK’s four nations.

The prominent political scientist outlined how UK voters now face fundamentally different, and largely disconnected sets of political choices, and the implications of this for the future of Wales and the UK.

More information on the book can be found here.

Imprisonment in Wales: A Factfile

June 2018, Pierhead

Together with Julie Morgan AM, Dr Rob Jones and Professor Richard Wyn Jones launched Imprisonment in Wales: A Factfile.

This ground-breaking report brings together a range of data on imprisonment in Wales, published as a single compendium for the first time ever.

It examines who is imprisoned in Wales and where, and provides data on sentencing, prison safety, and how groups such as women and Welsh-speakers interact with the prison system.

The factfile will form a vital evidence base for policymakers, against the backdrop of the Commission on Justice in Wales’s examination of justice in Wales, and a significant inquiry by the House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee.

Elmar Brok MEP – Brexit and the European Parliament

April 2018, Pierhead

The Wales Governance Centre’s Dr Rachel Minto hosted Elmar Brok MEP for a lunchtime lecture and Q&A on Brexit.

The Independent Commission on Referendums: who, what, why and how

April 2018, Senedd

Wales Governance Centre and the Constitution Unit

In October the Constitution Unit launched an Independent Commission on Referendums, to review the role of referendums in British democracy and consider how their rules and practice could be improved. The Commission is meeting monthly, and intends to report in the summer of 2018. At this seminar the chair and members of the Commission discussed their task, how they are setting about it, and the input they need from other experts and the public to ensure the Commission draws on the widest possible evidence base. They made particular reference to recent Welsh experience of referendums.

Professor Roger Awan-Scully chaired the event.


Sir Joe Pilling, Chair of the Commission

Dr Alan Renwick, Research Director for the Commission

Professor Laura McAllister, Professor of Public Policy at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre

Brexit: An Irish perspective

February 2018, Pierhead

In partnership with Wales for Europe.

A lecture by Daithi O’Ceallaigh, former Irish Ambassador to the UK and Director at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.

Jurisdiction in Practice

October 2016

This seminar considered the opportunities and challenges that could arise from a distinct jurisdiction.

Annual Lecture 2016 by Professor Sir Tom Devine
Restless Nation: Scotland 1999-2016 and beyond

Sir Tom Devine, Annual Lecture 2016
Sir Tom Devine, Annual Lecture 2016

October 2016, Pierhead

In this fascinating lecture, Sir Tom Devine considered the reasons for SNP success and the collapse of Labour in Scotland which was crucial to the cause of independence. He concluded with some thoughts on the Scottish question after Brexit and what the future might hold for a restless nation.

You can watch the lecture here.

Ministering to Education- a lecture with Leighton Andrews AM

October 2014, Cardiff University

On Wednesday 8th October, Leighton Andrews gave a talk at Cardiff University as part of a lecture series Ministering to Education that promoted debate in education, offering the inside story on several key decisions and reforms made during his time as Education Minister (2009–2013).

Launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Devolution, and De-centralisation in the United Kingdom

July 2014, Westminster

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour) & Lord Purvis of Tweed (Liberal Democrats)

Invite you to debate the future of decentralisation and devolution in the UK


Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield

Roundtable 1

Sir Menzies Campbell MP (Liberal Democrats)
Paul Silk (Commission on Devolution in Wales)
Suzy Davies AM (Welsh Conservatives)
Margaret Curran (Labour)

Roundtable 2

Jon Cruddas MP (Labour)
Graham Allen MP (Labour)
Lord Shipley (Liberal Democrats)

Supported by the UK’s Changing Union Project

“What will be the impact of the Scottish independence referendum on Wales?,” with guest panellists, an event sponsored by David Melding AM.

July 2014, National Assembly for Wales

The Cross Party Group on the Changing Union would like to invite you to a breakfast meeting in the company of a distinguished guest panel who will try to answer the question, “what will be the impact of the Scottish independence referendum on Wales?”

The panel, which will be chaired by David Melding AM, will include Lee Waters (Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs), Valerie Livingstone (Newsdirect Wales) and Adam Price (former Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr).

Book Launch: Mammon’s Kingdom

June 2014 – Book launch event hosted by the Innovation and Engagement Unit in association with the Wales Governance Centre and the Institute of Welsh Affairs
Glamorgan Building

The follies and failures of bankers, regulators and governments have loomed large in public debate over the past five years. In this passionate and hard-hitting book, David Marquand digs deeper.

‘The Fascist Party in Wales? Plaid Cymru, Welsh Nationalism and the Accusation of Fascism’

It is with great pleasure that the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University and the University of Wales Press announces the publication of Richard Wyn Jones’s latest book ‘The Fascist Party in Wales? Plaid Cymru, Welsh Nationalism and the Accusation of Fascism

We are holding a drinks reception and discussion to launch the book, and warmly invite you to join us.

Chair: Helgard Krause (UWP)
Discussants: Adam Price and Richard Wyn Jones

4th June 2014

Speaker of the House of Commons to give lecture in Cardiff

Are you involved with the voluntary sector in Wales?

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, will give a lecture in Cardiff on engagement with politics and 21st century volunteering on Thursday 5 June as part of a series of celebratory events around the UK for Volunteers’ Week 2014.

Sponsored by Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Dame Rosemary Butler AM this event will be held in partnership with the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and Chaired by its Director, Professor Richard Wyn Jones.

“Towards Scottish independence? Evaluating the prospects and implications of the Scottish referendum”
With Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh, an event sponsored by David Melding AM

Wednesday 14th May

In Conversation With . . . Lord Heseltine
The Rt Hon. the Lord Heseltine CH, Conservative

with the Open University in Wales

Thursday 1st May 2014

Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2014
Nicola Sturgeon MSP Deputy First Minister of Scotland & Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party

Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

Monday 24th March 2014

In Conversation With . . . Professor Linda Colley
Princeton University

Monday 10th March

with the Open University in Wales

Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

A Titanic mistake? The case against a super-prison for Wales
In partnership with the Howard League for Penal Reform

Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

Thursday 6th February

Constitutional conventions and the changing union
Professor David Farrell, University College Dublin

Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

Hosted by the UK’s Changing Union project

Wednesday 5th February

“A talk on Scotland” in the company of Professor James Mitchell (Edinburgh University) and the National Assembly Research Service.

12th December 2013

Leaders Speech

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

23rd September 2013

Guest Lecture: Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP

24th June 2013

Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2013: Sir David Lloyd Jones

23rd  April 2013

Leaders Speech

Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru the Party of Wales

15th March 2013

Leaders Speech

Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

25th February 2013

In Conversation With . . . The Rt. Hon Peter Hain MP

Sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM

18th December 2012

With the Open University in Wales

Wales Governance Centre Annual Lecture 2012: Deputy Prime Minister the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

14th June 2012