Skip to Content

GCPH Seminar Series 18: Lecture 3 - Kezia Dugdale

25 May 2022, 2.00pm - 3.30pm via Zoom

United Kingdom


Where good public policy and politics clash: 23 years of devolution and disappointment?

Action to address Glasgow’s and Scotland’s social and health inequalities is urgently needed. These issues are well recognised, deep-seated and long-standing. Despite decades of efforts to address these, Glasgow still falls behind the rest of Scotland in terms of health outcomes and Scotland has a poor health profile compared with the rest of the UK and Western Europe. We are now seeing an overall stalling in life expectancy improvements across Scotland and in our most deprived communities, life expectancy has started to fall. 

There is widespread recognition in policymaking that population health improvement requires a combined effort across policy domains to tackle the structural determinants of health. Indeed, when it comes to policymaking, there have been positive developments in Scotland and addressing health inequalities is a clear and distinct policy priority. However, despite this, progress has not matched local and national ambitions for Scotland to be a fairer and healthier nation. So why is this the case, what more is needed, and how can this be turned around?

In this seminar, Kezia shared her unique insights and knowledge having experienced both sides of policy development – as a former Scottish Member of Parliament and Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and now in academia, in her role as Director of the John Smith Centre for Public Service at the University of Glasgow. Kezia explored this ‘implementation gap’, using examples from her longstanding interest in and work on housing/homelessness and with care experienced young people.

About the speaker

Kezia Dugdale

Director, John Smith Centre for Public Service, University of Glasgow

Kezia studied Law at the University of Aberdeen and completed a Masters degree in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She is a former Scottish politician and served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2015 to 2017. A former member of the Scottish Labour Party and Co-operative Party, she was a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothian region from 2011 to 2019. In 2019 she took up the position of Director of the John Smith Centre for Public Service at the University of Glasgow. She is a trustee of the children’s charity Sistema Scotland, the housing charity Shelter UK and the oversight board of the Promise. 


Back to