Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

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Dr Louise Reardon

Research Fellow in Governance & Transport Policy

Phone: +44 (0)11334 32809
Room: LG.01
Research Group: Social and Political Sciences

I joined ITS as a Research Fellow in Governance and Transport Policy in January 2015, having worked as a teaching associate at the University of York and University of Sheffield. I gained my PhD (funded through an ESRC scholarship) from the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield in July 2014.

I co-chair the Governance and Decision-making Processes special interest group of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS). Since 2015 I have co-chaired the Institute’s Early Career Researcher Forum and have been the Institute’s Equality and Inclusion Coordinator since summer 2016. 



My research interests centre around understanding public policy processes in the context of multi-level governance, focusing in particular on reasons for policy change and stability.

My research has two key strands. The first is to understand the rise and significance of the wellbeing agenda. I have recently published a book on the topic with Professor Ian Bache from the University of Sheffield. Drawing on theories of agenda-setting and policy change, our book considers whether wellbeing can be described as ‘an idea whose time has come’. The book reflects on developments across the globe and provides a detailed comparative analysis of two political arenas: the UK and the EU. The book offers the first evidence-based reflection on the potential for wellbeing to be paradigm changing, identifying the challenge of bringing wellbeing into policy as a ‘wicked problem’ that policymakers are only now beginning to grapple with. 

My second strand of research focuses on how the transport agenda is influenced by (and responds to) other policy agendas such as the economy and the environment. In particular, my current focus is on understanding how the framing of energy as a public policy problem, affects the transport sector’s climate change agenda and its approach to tackling issues such as transport demand. This work forms part of the RCUK funded DEMAND Centre.


I currently guest lecture on governance and public policy issues on masters programmes within ITS, as well as supervise masters dissertations. I also have experience teaching in the following areas;

  • British Politics
  • Political Analysis
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Politics and Quality of Life
  • Political Sociology
  • Sustainable Land-Use and Transport Planning 










  • Bache I; Reardon L (2016) The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing: Understanding the Rise and Significance of a New Agenda, Edward Elgar.

Book Chapters

  • Bache I; Reardon LH (2016) The ‘wicked problem’ of wellbeing: theorising the prospects for policy change, In: Tachibanaki T (Ed) Advances in Happiness Research: A Comparative Perspective, Creative Economy, Springer, pp.23-38. doi: 10.1007/978-4-431-55753-1


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