December 2018 newsletter

A festive hello from the PSA Parliaments Group team! We have plenty of news and updates to keep you going over the festive period, and they include:

  1. Our Conference – thank you!
  2. Survey
  3. Plans for 2019: summary of ideas
  4. Membership and the PSA
  5. Hansard Society Scholars – Dissertation Supervisor
  6. Essay Competition 2019
  7. Authoritarian Legislatures
  8. Registration for #PSA19 open
  9. Recently on our blog

If you have any notices / messages you would like us to circulate to the group, please let us know (including events, new research projects, grants, publications, etc.). Or other ideas for the group and feedback for us, they’re welcome too!

Best wishes,
Marc (@marcgeddes), Louise (@LouiseVThompson) Alex (@A_Meakin) and Seán (@S_Haughey)

1. Our Conference – Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone that came to our conference in Belfast in November. We might be biased, but we think it was a huge success! Alex Meakin, Communications Officer, has written a recap and summary, with lots of pictures, on our website – you can find this by clicking here.

We also want to thank the clerks and officials of the Northern Ireland Assembly for hosting and welcoming us to Stormont.

We are also incredibly grateful to our Treasurer, Seán Haughey, who organised the conference at the same time as submitting his thesis!

Finally, thank you to all those who presented papers, chaired panels, or contributed to the conference. We hope to see you at the Parliaments Group panels at the PSA Annual Conference in Nottingham next April.

2. Survey

Following our conference, we wanted to get some feedback from all our members about what is working well and in what areas we can improve.

We have a very short form for our members to fill out, which you can access here.

Most importantly, we are considering ideas for our conference next year. At our AGM, there was a strong indication that we should aim to hold it at Cardiff, so look out for news regarding this.

Please respond to this survey before the end of January.

3. Plans for 2019

At this time of year, we usually take stock to see what events we should plan for the following calendar year. The Political Studies Association usually asks for an annual report at this time of year too.

To feed into this process, we have asked our members to for ideas at our AGM (this now takes place at our conference in November).

Among other things, we are looking forward to organising:
1. PSA Annual Conference (April)
2. Methods Workshop for Early Career Academics (early summer)
3. Essay Competition 2019 (see below) (summer)
4. PSA Parliaments Group Conference (November)

Alongside these annual events, we have also been in discussion with other PSA groups to organise further events, including one event on the culture of Parliament (in light of recent events, including the Cox Report).

If you are interested in supporting any of our ideas or have new ideas, especially in collaboration with other PSA groups, then please get in touch with us!

4. Membership and the PSA

You are all receiving this email because you have signed up to our mailing list at some point in the past.

If you have changed jobs or would like to update your membership details, please complete our Member Information Form [opens Word doc].

Every year, we have to submit a current list of membership to the Political Studies Association. On this basis, they have a funding formula so that we can run our events. We get additional funding for every person that is also a member of the PSA – please do consider joining the Association as well as our group. You can join the PSA by clicking here.

Please note that you are under no obligation to be a member of the PSA and this PSA Parliaments Group (though it helps us!).

5. Hansard Society Scholars – Dissertation Supervisor

The Hansard Society is seeking an academic to assist in dissertation supervision and marking for its Spring 2019 Hansard Society Scholars Programme, a prestigious and intensive politics course for select, mainly North American, undergraduates.

This person will supervise 18 undergraduates writing dissertations of approximately 7000 words each on an approved topic related to British politics.  Each scholar will require three 20 minute supervision meetings to be held on or as close as possible to 22 February, 22 March and 12 April in a Central London room provided by the Hansard Society.  The deadline for dissertation submission will be 19 April and marks need to be submitted to the Hansard Society by 10 May.

Payment will be £2600. to cover reading and assessment of each proposal, supervision time and marking. Transportation costs will be provided for a supervisor travelling from outside of London.

Applicants must possess a PhD in political science or a related discipline.

If interested, please contact Lisa George, Programme Director, Hansard Society Scholars, a.s.a.p attaching a CV.
Direct line: 020 7710 6075

6. Essay Competition 2019

We’re very pleased to announce our annual undergraduate essay competition for 2019 is now open!

The winner will be presented with a prize of £100 and the runner-up with a prize of £50. The winners for 2018 were presented the award by Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira at our annual conference in Belfast. Previous winners have also been awarded by the Clerk of the House of Commons and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. The deadline is 31 May, with a 3,500 word limit.

We would like to thank the panel for supporting us and judging the entries over the last years, and especially Michael Rush, who has chaired the judging panel in the past. As announced previously, Michael will be stepping down from this role, so we are looking for a new chair. If you are interested, please get in touch with us.

All of the details about the competition can be found on our webpage.

7. Authoritarian Legislatures

Are you working on legislatures in non-democratic regimes? If so, please feel free to get in touch with Dr Ben Noble – Lecturer in Russian Politics, University College, London – who is keen to establish an informal network of scholars working in this field, with a view to putting together future conference panels and writing collaborative papers. Email:

8. Registration for #PSA19

The PSA’s annual international conference will take place in Nottingham, 15-17 April 2019.

Registration is now OPEN and if you register early, you will benefit from a discount. You can find out all about the conference and register by clicking here.

For those interested in what the PSA Parliaments Group has got to offer, we have submitted six panels on the following themes:

  • Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy
  • Parliaments and Policy Making in Comparative Perspective
  • Opening Up Parliament: From public claims to expert knowledge
  • UK Parliament: How does history inform he future?
  • Legislation and Brexit
  • Researching Parliament (with HoC Academic Fellows)

Full details, including individual papers, are available on our website – please click here. Further details will be provided as and when they come available.

9. Recently on the blog

Our blog has been on FIRE recently, with the below published since our last newsletter. This week we’ll be counting down the five most-read blogs on our site in 2018 – keep an eye on our Twitter: @psa_parl for more info.

We are always looking for more contributions to our blog: do get in touch if you would like to share your research or expert opinion. We are particularly keen to feature more blogs from women and people of colour. Do get in touch with our Communications Officer Alex Meakin ( for a chat about how to get involved.


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