Arianna leads IPPR North, IPPR’s dedicated think-tank for the North of England.
She is an expert in devolution, regional and local economic development, local government and politics, multi-level governance, and the politics of territorial identity.
Before joining IPPR North in July 2019 as Interim Director, Arianna was Deputy Director of the Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC) and a Senior Lecturer in Local Politics at the Department of Politics, People and Place – De Montfort University, Leicester. In her role at the LGRC, Arianna led a wide range of research and consultancy projects on devolution deals, the Northern Powerhouse, the changing landscape of local government, the New Municipalism, central-local relations, austerity and Brexit. Prior to that, she held research positions at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI, University of Sheffield), and at the University of Leeds (POLIS) working on the White Rose Consortium for the North of England project.
Arianna holds a PhD in Political Sociology from Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett), where she critically analysed the case of England’s exclusion from the process of devolution initiated in 1997, using the failed attempt to set up directly elected regional assemblies in the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber in 2004 as a lens through which to read the so-called ‘English Question’. Her latest book Developing England’s North: the Political Economy of the Northern Powerhouse (with Craig Berry, MMU) was published in 2018 by Palgrave, and provides a critical assessment of the Coalition and Conservative government Northern Powerhouse and devolution strategy across the North, whilst also offering an alternative policy agenda to drive the North’s potential.
Understanding and promoting the politics, governance and political economy of the North has been the driver of Arianna’s research activity throughout her career. Arianna believes passionately in the importance of shifting the current approach to devolution and the Northern Powerhouse, turning these into inclusive agendas that benefit all people and places in the North.