Politicians, the public, think-tanks, journalists and academics alike have increasingly focused in recent times on how parliaments and legislatures work and how to make them work better in terms of policy-making, representation, scrutiny and accountability. Yet, despite this focus, the evidence base for making judgments about the effectiveness of parliaments and legislatures is arguably not as extensive as it could be, perhaps partly because of methodological difficulties in assessing the influence, impact and power of these institutions.
This one-day conference of the PSA Parliaments and Legislatures Specialist Group, co-hosted by the University of Birmingham, seeks to concentrate on the evidence – whether qualitative and/or quantitative and from a range of theoretical and analytical traditions – of parliamentary and legislative effectiveness and the effectiveness of parliamentary and legislative reform.
The conference will take place on Friday, 28 October (9.30am-6.30pm) at the Institute for Government, London.
The day will run as follows (for paper abstracts, please click on the paper titles below, or alternatively click here (opens PDF) for a full list):
09.30-10.00 – Welcome, and tea and coffee
10.00-11.30 – Session 1: Academic papers on “Parliaments in Comparative Perspective”, with:
- Emma Crewe (SOAS) with Nizam Ahmed, Zahir Ahmed, Meheret Ayenew and Ruth Fox (Hansard Society), ‘Parliamentary Effectiveness in Shallow Democracies: With Examples from Bangladesh and Ethiopia‘
- Mark Egan (States of Jersey), ‘Horses for Courses: Assessing the Effect of Legislature Size and Political Culture on Parliamentary Effectiveness‘
- Greg Power, Sue Griffiths, Llinos Madeley (Global Partners Governance), ‘All About Behaviour: Measuring Parliamentary Effectiveness Internationally‘
11.30-13.00 – Session 2: Roundtable on “The challenges for Parliament in a post-referendum era”, with:
- Lord Beith
- Chris Bryant MP
- Dr Ruth Fox (Director, Hansard Society)
- Dr Hannah White (Institute for Government)
13.00-14.00 – Lunch and poster session (for poster details click here).
14.00-15.30 – Session 3: Academic papers on “Westminster and Beyond”, with:
- Meg Russell (Constitution Unit, UCL) and Daniel Gover (Constitution Unit, QMUL), ‘The Distinct ‘Faces’ of Parliamentary Power‘
- Mark Bennister (Canterbury), Alex Kelso (Southampton) and Philip Larkin (Houses of Parliament), ‘Questioning the PM at the Liaison Committee‘
- Jessie Blackbourn (Oxford), ‘Do Sunset Clauses Work?‘
15.30-16.00 – Tea and coffee
16.00-16.15 – Presentation to prize-winners of PSA Specialist Group on Parliaments and Legislatures Essay Competition
- Winner: Sam Holcroft (UCL)
- Runner-up: Matthew Robinson (Surrey)
16.15-17.15 – Parliaments and Legislatures Annual Lecture, with:
- David Natzler, Clerk of the House of Commons
17.15-18.30 – Drinks reception
If you would like to attend, please be aware that there is a small fee in order to cover some of the costs. There are three types of ticket available:
- Non-PSA members: £30.00
- PSA members: £22.50
- PhD students and members of the PSA: £10.00
Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
To register, please click here. This will redirect you to the PSA website where you will be able to register. Note that, if you are not a member of the PSA, you will be asked to register for an account. This will not take longer than a few minutes.