Ed Turner is particularly interested in federalism, decentralisation and public policy. He wrote his doctorate about the impact of political parties on public policy at the sub-national level in Germany, and retains a keen interest in all aspects of modern German politics. He has been involved in two research projects funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The first (with Simon Green) looked at the changing nature of German Christian Democracy, and the second (with Carolyn Rowe) is involved in considering the extent of territorial variation in German politics, and in particular the impact of the 2006 federalism reforms. He has also worked on comparative public policy, and is particularly interested in housing and spatial planning. He has recently won funding from the DAAD to undertake a comparative study of housing policy in Britain and Germany, jointly with the think tank IPPR.
In his spare time, Ed Turner serves on the Local Government Association's Environment, Economy, Transport and Housing Board. He has been involved in three major reviews of housing policy: the “Local Housing Delivery Group” (known at the Harman Review), which looked at how to test the viability of councils’ Local Plans, the Technical Housing Standards Review convened by the government to look at standards required in new housing, and most recently the Lyons Review of Housing Policy, which identified a way for England to build at least 200,000 homes a year. He has given evidence to committees of the House of Commons on several occasions, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Private Rented Housing. He has spoken widely on these issues in the media, including BBC and Sky News and BBC Radio 4(including the Today programme). He has also written on a number of high-profile blogs, such as Left Foot Forward.