The Centre is developing research grants, publishing research papers and running a series of academic and practitioner workshops around the central themes of:
The consequences of competition and regulation upon firm and market behaviours and performance, particularly addressing the following issues:
- The implications of structural changes and regulatory incentives for other important factors within infrastructure industries, such as climate change, or social welfare.
- Determining whether existing models of privatisation and liberalisation have been effective in the mature economies where they have been applied, what are the consequences of variation, and how might specific structural models be developed for emerging and less developed economies.
- Developing theoretical and practical advice about strategic decision-making, leadership, and the implementation of potentially contradictory policies, given the complex demands upon infrastructure firms, arising from structural changes and different incentive mechanisms.
The implications of political, environmental and social inclusion agendas upon policy formation and implementation, particularly addressing the following issues:
- How particular policy decisions are influenced by institutional opportunity structures and powerful actors, and the implications of this influence for social inclusion or marginalization of socially disadvantaged actors.
- Comparisons of the public welfare and social effects of different incentive systems and market structures with a view to cross-national and cross-sectoral learning.
- The implications of value clashes between market incentives, social welfare and environmental concerns for policy formation and investment within these industries; and for decision-making and attempts to influence the policy agenda from organizations within these industries.
Sustainability and technological innovation. Each of these industries operates in key areas of policy concern for environmental and social sustainability, which brings demands for technological innovation. However, most research is able to cover only the regulatory policy or technological issues rather than their interaction. ACCIS aims to address:
- How sustainability issues interact with and are influenced by other factors, such as competition, efficiency measures and political agendas
- How technological capacity to improve sustainability is linked to willingness to invest in that capacity
- The extent to which particular technological innovations are able to account for sustainability requirements going forward and their varying implications upon sustainability, given other factors that influence technology and infrastructure development