Newsletter, 01 July 2016

Hello everyone,

A quick newsletter today – there’s plenty of excitement going on in politics already! Please see information below on the following:

  1. Parliaments & Legislatures One day conference, 28 October
  2. Event about the Liaison Committee,  7 July
  3. EU referendum conference, 16 September
  4. Research Assistant Job, deadline 17 July
  5. Quantitative methods workshop, 16 September

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)

1. Parliaments and Legislatures One day conference
As announced in our last newsletter, we’ll be holding a one day conference, at the Institute for Government, in London, Friday 28 October, 2016, co-hosted by the University of Birmingham. We’re very grateful to Stephen Bates who has offered to take a lead on this. The conference will include panels presenting research and a roundtable, finishing with our annual lecture. The theme of the conference is: what makes parliaments effective? The roundtable will focus on the Role of Parliament Post-Referendum.

Please see our call for papers on our website and submit your expression of interest directly to Stephen ( by the 31 August. We welcome contributions beyond the UK Parliament, namely on the devolved legislatures and/or with a comparative dimension. We look forward to hearing from you.

2. Event about the Liaison Committee
Questioning the Prime Minister: How Effective is the Liaison Committee?
TIME: 7th July 2016; from 12:30-15:30. The event includes lunch from 12:30; VENUE: Institute for Government, 2 Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y 5AA

While most public attention is focused on Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ), Liaison Committee sessions with the PM have remained mostly under the radar. These sessions have operated since 2002, questioning three successive Prime Ministers. Research by Alix Kelso (Southampton), Mark Bennister (Canterbury Christ Church) and Phil Larkin (Canberra) focuses on the process of significant institutional learning the Committee has undergone over the course of these sessions. The research is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and supported by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Southampton.

The presentation of the research report will be followed by a panel discussion of the Liaison Committee evidence, and a Q&A session. The panel will include Natascha Engel (MP & Deputy Speaker), Hannah White (Institute for Government), and other distinguished guests.

Places are limited, please register here:

Any queries about this event, please contact Mark Bennister at:

3. EU Referendum conference

This one-day conference at Newcastle University aims to bring together academics, politicians and journalists to reflect on and debate the impact of the 2016 EU referendum on British politics and society. Proposals are welcome from established academics, early-career researchers and PhD students. The conference takes place on Friday September 16th 2016 and the deadline for abstract submissions is Friday July 29th.  Please see the conference webpage for further details:

Any queries about this event, please contact Tristan Martin at:

4. Research Assistant Job
Researcher on options for an English Parliament – Deadline: 17th July 2016
The Constitution Unit is recruiting a full-time researcher (Research Assistant or Research Associate) to work on a new project led by Professor Meg Russell on ‘Options for an English Parliament’. This draws together two strands of the Unit’s previous work: on devolution, and on parliamentary institutions. The project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation for one year, and seeks to explore the feasibility of an English Parliament and options for its detailed design. This policy proposal has been on the political agenda for many years, and there is growing interest in it, but there has been little detailed consideration of how it might work. This project seeks to fill the gap, and the main output will be a report setting out the options, to be published at the end of the project. There may also be interim outputs and events. The successful candidate will be expected to take the lead in planning and conducting the research, under the supervision of Professor Russell, and of drafting the final report. She or he will play a role in interviews, desk research, event planning and dissemination for the project – as well as contributing to the broader Constitution Unit team. More information, job description and how to apply here.

5. Statistical analysis for Parliaments and Legislatures for Dabblers
Stephen Bates and Mark Goodwin (Birmingham) are putting together a workshop on the use of quantitative methods in legislative studies. This is ideal for PhD students, but also for anyone who is new to quantitative studies. The workshop will take place the 16 of September, 11.00-15:00. Please see more details on our website. We are able to support travel costs for PhD students who may wish to attend the workshop (up to £50). Our thanks to Stephen and Mark for organising this.


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