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Visiting Professor in Governance and Political History, University of South Wales

Professor Russell Deacon is a visiting professor in Governance and Political History. He has worked across his career in most of the colleges and universities of South and West Wales. Prof Deacon has taught at all levels on education from AS level to Ph.D, mainly in Government and Politics/History. He has extensive knowledge on devolved government across the United Kingdom, upon which has written extensively. Professor Deacon is an expert on Welsh political history and in particular the Liberal party in Wales and the wider UK. He is also an expert on the ERASMUS programme of study and in this respect has worked closely with the Welsh Government and British Council on the effectiveness of the study abroad programme.

Professor Deacon is also the chair of a number of bodies relating to his expertise including the European Movement in Wales, Lloyd George Society and Welsh Political Studies Lecturers and Teachers Society. He is also a councillor, school governor and serves on a variety of boards and committees related to these roles. In 2012 he co-founded the Welsh think tank Gorwel and works currently as the administrative director for this. He is a Board Member of These Islands and an advisor on British devolved government to the John Smith Institute.

Professor Deacon also undertakes a number of media roles for both political and history projects in both the printed press and broadcast media. Most recently this has involved programme consultancy on the BBC Radio production Lloyd George’s War (2015) and the Anglo-Irish Century (2016). He has also worked with the BBC on various aspects of Welsh politics and policy. In 2018 Professor Deacon also produced the first ever textbook on the Government and Politics of Wales for Edinburgh University Press.


Before going to university he worked for a number corporate head offices in retail, insurance and television. As an undergraduate student I studied Public Administration at then University of Glamorgan. During the sandwich year of the degree and for a period afterwards I worked in the civil service in Wales in the Welsh Office’s European Affairs Division. I then undertook postgraduate studies at Cardiff University completing a PGCE. I undertook my PhD thesis at the University of Glamorgan on the subject of the ‘Welsh Office and the Policy Process’, finishing in 1999.

From 1992 – 2011 I worked at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) in many different positions ranging from lecturer to Head of Department. In 2009 I was awarded a teaching fellowship and in 2010 I was awarded a personal chair within the University of Wales, within the subject area of Welsh Political History and Governance. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Between 1999-2000 I was on secondment to the National Assembly for Wales where I helped set up organize the research department for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. I currently serve on a number of national boards relating to history and business, such: as the Welsh Political Archives of the National Library of Wales, These Islands, the Liberal History Group, Chair of the Lloyd George Society and was formerly the Administrative Director of the Welsh business think tank Gorwel.

After leaving UWIC in 2011 I lectured at the University of Wales Trinity St David at both the Lampeter and Carmarthen campuses as well as undertaking business research at the National Assembly for Wales and for private companies. I was then in the Department of History and Classics at Swansea University before going on to hold a part-time post in the University of Wales Trinity St Davids Swansea School of Education and a fractional post at Coleg Gwent lecturing on Government and Politics and History and running the Foundation Degree in English and History. He has lectured or given talks at numerous universities and bodies across Wales, the UK, Europe and the United States including the Hay Literature Festival, Lloyd George Museum, National Library of Wales, Welsh Assembly, Oxford and Harvard Universities.

Professor Deacon has also been an elected councillor and served as chair of Van Community Council 2017-18, which is in Caerphilly. He has served in a number of roles at county borough and community level within Caerphilly.


Professor Deacon currently runs the The Russian Revolutions And The Soviet Union (1917-1953) (2018/19) HS2S018 module

Principal Publications


The Government and Politics of Wales, Edinburgh University Press, 2018

The Welsh Liberal Tradition, A History of the Welsh Liberal Party 1867 – 2008, Welsh Academic Press, 2014

Devolved Great Britain: the New Governance of England, Scotland and Wales, 2nd edition, Edinburgh University Press, 2012

Devolved Great Britain: the New Governance of England, Scotland and Wales with Alan Sandry, Edinburgh University Press, 2007

Devolution in Britain Today, Manchester University Press, 2006

The Welsh Office and the Policy Process (1964-1999), Welsh Academic Press, 2002

Devolved Great Britain: the New Governance of England, Scotland and Wales, with Dylan Griffiths and Peter Lynch,Sheffield Hallam University Press, 2000

God Bless the Prince of Wales’, with Steve Belzak, Centre for Reform in Wales, 2000

Book-chapters and journal articles:

Devolution, Politics UK, 9th Edition, Routledge, 2018

The Welsh Lib-Lab coalition government 2000-2003, Journal of Liberal History, Autumn 2014

‘Emlyn Hooson MP and barrister’ with Lord Alex Carlile in Derec Lloyds, Emlyn Hooson: Essays and Reminiscence, 2014, Gomer

Richard Livsey Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Journal of Liberal History, Winter 2013, pp-37-41

It wasn’t only Lloyd George’s daughters: A short history of some of the more prominent Welsh female Liberal politicians (1890-1988), Journal of Liberal History, Summer 2011

‘Was 1906 The Welsh Liberals Finest Hour?’, in H.V. Bowen’s, 2011 – A New History of Wales: Myths and Realities in Welsh History, Gomer, pp 136-142
‘Why the post-1992 Welsh universities students aren’t engaging with ERASMUS (Study Abroad): A case study on UWIC’s Department of Humanities, EducationStudies, Vol 3, Issue 1, January 2011, page 2-19

Devolution’, in Politics UK, 6th edition, 2010, Pearson Longman

Cardiff Liberal Council Politics at the birth of the city (1868-1906), The Journal of Glamorgan History, Morgannwg, Volume LIII 2010

The Party System in the UK, Parliamentary Affairs 2010 Vol 63: 577-582

10 years of devolution, British Politics Review 2/09 on devolution, Norwegian British Politics Association, March 2009

The Liberals and Decentralisation, 2009, book chapter in Kevin Hickson’s The political thought of the Liberals and Liberal Democrats since 1945, Manchester University Press

Devolution in Wales: Claims and Responses, 1937–1979 Parliamentary Affairs 2008 Vol 61: 414-418

The Welsh Liberal Democrats From Government to Opposition and then back Again, The Political Quarterly, Vol 78, Issue 1, 2007 pp.156-164

The Slow Death of Liberal Wales – 1906 – 1979, Journal of Liberal History, Winter 2005

Lord Howells: The Last Interview, Journal of Liberal History, Winter 2004

‘Wales’ in 2002 The Political Map of Britain, Simon Henig and Lewis Baston (eds), Politicos Publishing

‘Welsh Devolution and Grassroots Democracy’: A Study on the Relationship between the National Assembly for Wales and Community and Town Councils in South Wales’ with Steve Belzak, Local Governance, Institute of Local Government Studies, Vol.27, No.3, Autumn 2001

‘Wales’ in 2000 Politico’s Guide to the General Election, Simon Henig and Lewis Baston (eds), Politicos Publishing


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    Visiting professor in Governance and Political History, University of South Wales
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