Newsletter, 11 June 2015

Our newsletters are usually sent out once every three to four weeks directly to your email. For more information on membership and how to receive regular direct updates from the group, please click here.

Hello everyone,

Please see information below on the following – a long list, but very short items, a good read for a Friday;):

  1. Job vacancy, House of Commons library
  2. PSA placements (paid) in the House of Commons
  3. On the Blog
  4. Essay competition
  5. Group’s members Twitter list
  6. Dissemination of members’ work
  7. Institute for Government report on Select Committees
  8. Women, gender and political leadership workshop
  9. Pre-epop workshop at Exeter
  10. List of nominations for Select Committee Chairs
  11. Planned events: Impact and Parliament Week

If you have any notices / messages you would like us to circulate to the group, let us know – it could be about disseminating an event, new research, new publication etc. Please avoid sending attachments; where possible, we would prefer circulating more substantive information through web links instead.

Best wishes,
Cristina (@estrangeirada), Louise (@louiseVThompson) and Marc (@marcgeddes)
PSA Parliaments and Legislatures Specialist Group

1. Job vacancy, House of Commons library

The Library of the House of Commons (@commonslibrary) is advertising a Senior Library Clerk/ researcher role in the Parliament & Constitution Centre. Details here:

Please note that the closing date is 16 June.

2. PSA placements (paid) in the House of Commons

Applications are now open for up to two PSA/House of Commons Committee Office Placements (paid) – deadline 1st September 2015. Full details at:

3. On the Blog

Reminder that you can now subscribe to receive an email alert whenever a new blog post is submitted. Just click on the Follow button at the bottom-right of the our blog page, type your email address, click sign me up and that’s it. It will ask you to confirm, but then that’s it, you don’t need to do anything else and you will get an email when a new blog post is published.

This week our latest Blog posts include a post written by a finalist undergraduate student, on the basis of his dissertation on Urgent Questions. If you have students with suitable research who are willing to write a good blog, by all means encourage them to do so and to get in touch with us.

Our most recent posts:

We also have a new Overview of a Parliament:

The Real Borgen: the Danish Folketing [pdf], By Martin Hansen

4. Essay competition

Thank you to everyone who submitted an essay for our Essay competition. The deadline has now passed and the essays are now being assessed by a panel put together for this effect. More news on this in early July.

5. Group’s members Twitter list

Reminder that we have compiled a List of our group members who are on Twitter. You can find this within our own group’s Twitter account (@psa_Parl). This link should take you straight there. If you’re not there and would like to be listed, just tweet the group (or drop an email to Marc:

@psa_parl has nearly 200 followers now! So if you don’t follow it yet, then you should. You could be follower 200… (life doesn’t get any better).

6. Dissemination of members’ work

One of the aims of this specialist group is to disseminate members’ research and work on parliament. So please always feel free to drop us an email with any news you want us to disseminate (new publication, new grant, event, etc). To be included in the Newsletter, please try to write a maximum of 5-8 lines that I can then just copy and paste; and please avoid attachments, sending instead web links where possible. As a guidance, we tend to do the newsletter every three weeks.

Likewise, we’re happy to disseminate things through Twitter. Just drop us a line and we’ll be only too happy you disseminate it through Twitter. Or, easier if you’re on Twitter, include @psa_parl or #ParliamentsPSA in your Tweets, and we’ll pick it up.

7. Institute for Government report on Select Committees

The Institute for Government has published a new report on Select Committees, calling for reforms to the ways that select committees operate. To fulfil their crucial role in scrutinising government, these committees must improve their focus on what they are trying to achieve and their understanding of their own impact; and they must be better supported and led than by the currently-dysfunctional Liaison Committee.

You can read more about this here.

8. Women, gender and political leadership

On Friday 15 May, the PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group and the Political Leadership Specialist Group – supported by Birkbeck and Canterbury Christ Church University – co-hosted a workshop on ‘Women, Gender and Political Leadership’. You can read more about it here.

9. Pre-epop workshop at Exeter: Media in Context and the 2015 General election

‘Media in Context and the 2015 General Election: How Traditional and Social Media Shape Elections and Governing’ is a half-day workshop to present preliminary findings and introduce the data from the ESRC-funded research grant ‘Media in Context and the 2015 General Election’ led by Prof Dan Stevens will be held as a part of the EPOP Annual Conference at the University of Cardiff on Friday, September 11 at 9am-1pm.

The project examines the effects from the media exposure and the General Election coverage on the propensity to vote and political attitudes in safe and marginal constituencies and its implication for the outcomes of the General Election using methods of computer-aided content analysis, survey research and field experiment.

The first version of the data and the initial findings will be introduced during the workshop.

If you are interested in attending the workshop or have any queries, please, email Ekaterina Kolpinskaya (

10. List of nominations for Select Committee Chairs

In case you haven’t spotted it yet, you can find the list of the candidates for Select Committee Chairs (UK House of Commons) here. New Chairs will be elected by secret ballot on the 17 of June.

11. Planned events: Impact and Parliament Week

In a couple of weeks’ time, 25 June, we will be holding our Research Methods Workshop for PhD students at the University of Leeds. But we have also already started planning two further events, one on Impact and Parliament, and another one for Parliament Week.

We will soon be in a position to give further details about this, but for now, please note in your diaries our planned event on Impact and Parliament, which will take place the 2 November, very likely in Westminster.

We are also starting to plan the group’s contribution to Parliament Week. Parliament Week this year will take place specifically in the week of 16 to 20 November. As last year, we are planning activities in the run up to the actual week, plus a larger event during the actual Parliament Week. We’ll circulate further details  soon.


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