Photo:Ian BacheProfessor Ian Bache

Professor of Politics

Contact Details
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1678
Room: Elmfield G66
Feedback and Consultation Hours:
Please, email for an appointment


Ian Bache joined the Department as Lecturer in 1999 and became Senior Lecturer in 2003, Reader in 2006 and Professor in 2009. He was University Director of Learning and Teaching for Internationalisation 2011-2014.

Ian had a number of jobs before taking his first degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies at the University of Leeds, which included work experience in the House of Commons and the US Congress. After his first degree he worked for the Coalfield Communities Campaign/ European Action for Mining Communities before studying for an MA in International Studies and PhD on the Politics of EU Regional Policy at the University of Sheffield. He completed a part-time MEd in Teaching and Learning at the University of Sheffield in 2004 and received the Senate Award for Sustained Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2008.

He is Co-Director of the Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy (CWiPP) at the University of Sheffield and is co-investigator of the Community Wellbeing strand of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing launched in 2015. He was principal investigator and convenor of the ESRC seminar series on The Politics of Wellbeing 2013-15. He serves on the editorial and advisory boards of a number of international journals and has undertaken consultancy for national and international bodies.

In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).

Professional Activities

  • Book Series Editor, Wellbeing in Politics and Policy, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Co-editor, Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy (CWiPP) Working Papers Series
  • Member, ESRC Peer Review College

I use a range of activities within my teaching to appeal to students with different learning styles and to engage students from different backgrounds. This includes group work, debates, presentations and posters. I am keen to promote independent and inquiry-based learning (IBL) and have conducted research on IBL and international students. I am also a strong believer that research should not only inform teaching but that teaching can also inform research. Where relevant I include my research papers in progress on my modules so that students can engage with scholarship as it is developing and my research can be shaped by their engagement. The citation for my Senate Award in 2008 began: ‘Ian is an outstanding teacher, facilitator of learning, researcher, mentor and advisor. He has been deeply committed to the development of learning and teaching and over a considerable period of time and has played a key role in the development of highly innovative teaching and learning practices…’.

As the University’s Director of Learning and Teaching for Internationalisation (2011-14) my role was to develop and embed the University’s policy of seeking to place the understanding and ambition of staff and students in an international context. Our aims were to give our students the best opportunity of competing for jobs in the widest market possible (global employability) and to promote awareness of international issues and interconnectedness, whether economic, environmental, social etc. (global citizenship)

I am co-author of a leading Oxford University Press textbook on Politics in the European Union, which has a number of distinctive pedagogic features both in the book and within the accompanying online resource centre, including an interactive map, interactive timeline, multiple-choice questions and a flashcard glossary. I have a number of other teaching-related publications, most recently on Internalisation of Learning and Teaching Across the Student Journey.

I am module leader for the final year undergraduate module on Politics and the Quality of Life, which explores conceptual, empirical and policy-related aspects of the ideas of quality of life, wellbeing and happiness. I am also module leader on the MA module on Analysing the Policy Process, which examines different ‘stages;’ of the policy processes and explores key analytical approaches to understanding contemporary policy-making. I also teach on the MA module on Wellbeing in Politics and Policy and supervise PhD students.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised 14 PhD students to completion as first supervisor (and nine more as second supervisor). I am particularly keen to supervise in areas relating to wellbeing and quality of life.


My current research focuses on wellbeing in politics and policy. This includes:

Understanding the rise and significance of a new agenda Current interest in wellbeing is part of the second of ‘two waves’ of activity since the Second World War, both of which have centred on a critique of GDP as the dominant indicator of societal progress. In this context, my research addresses two questions relating to this second wave:

  1. How and why has the idea of wellbeing risen up the political agenda?
  2. What are the policy implications of this rising interest in the idea of wellbeing?

‘What works’ for wellbeing? As part of the new What Works Centre for Wellbeing funded by the ESRC, government departments and others to develop a strong and credible evidence base to support organisations seeking to develop policies aimed at improving wellbeing. My research in this area draws on academic and practitioner contributions on the evidence-policy relationship to understand the challenges of bringing wellbeing more squarely into policy.

Wellbeing in politics The political dimensions of the rise of wellbeing remain relatively unexplored, which has left important theoretical and empirical insights largely absent from debates. This research builds on collaborations developed as Convenor of the ESRC seminar series on The Politics of Wellbeing, which sought to identify the distinctive contribution of the politics discipline and bring this into dialogue with other disciplines and policy-makers.

My previous research includes a number of projects on multi-level governance, most recently on climate change and transport policy.

Recent Projects

Date Sponsor Title Funding
2015 ESRC Community Wellbeing Programme (part of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing). ES/N003756/1. PI - Prof Peter Kinderman, University of Liverpool. Approx £880,000 - final amount TBC.
2013 ESRC Seminar Series on The Politics of Well-being (July 2013) Grant Ref: ES/L001357/1. PI - IB. £26,464 £26,464
2011 HEIF The Politics and Policy of Well-being. PI - IB £7,700
2010 ESRC Multi-level Governance, Transport and Climate Change’ (with Leeds University). ES/J007439/1, 2010. P – Prof Greg Marsden, University of Leeds £247,310

View full list of publications

Recent Publications

- Books

  • Bache, I. and Scott, K. (eds.) (2018) The Politics of Wellbeing: Theory, Policy and Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bache, I. and Reardon, L. (2016) The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing: Understanding the Rise and Significance of a New Agenda, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Bache, I. and Flinders, M. (eds) (2015) Multi-level Governance: Essential Readings, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Bache, I., Bartle, I., Flinders, M. and Marsden, G (2015) Multi-level Governance and Climate Change: Insights from Transport Policy, Lanham (US) and London: Rowman and Littlefield
  • Bache, I., Bulmer, S., George, S. and Parker, O. (2015) Politics in the European Union, 4th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

- Articles

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • ESI Seminar Series, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, June 15, 2016.
  • Lecture series on Self, Society and Wellbeing, Centre for British Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin, May 2015
  • The ‘International Conference: Comparative Study on Happiness’ at École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, October 2014
  • Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies’, conference at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, October 2014.
  • Jean Monnet Centre Seminar Series, University of Manchester, April 2014
  • ENV Social Science Seminars, University of East Anglia, March 2014
  • International conference on ‘The Comparative Study on Happiness’, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, February 2014

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