PSA Parliaments 2019 conference – Parliaments: Coming of Age?

The PSA Parliaments 2019 Annual Conference will be held on 7-8 November at the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff. 

Our 2019 annual conference will take place in Cardiff, at the National Assembly for Wales, on Thursday, 07 November (6pm-8pm) for a welcome wine reception and Friday, 08 November (9am-5pm) for a full one-day conference. Please save these dates to your diaries and feel free to start planning travel and accommodation – these are the final and confirmed dates and times.

Registration is now open.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Parliaments: Coming of Age?’ – a timely and pertinent question for the National Assembly which marks its twentieth anniversary this year. This falls alongside other anniversaries. For example, 2019 also marks: the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Scottish Parliament; the 40th anniversary of the introduction of departmental select committees in the UK Parliament; and the 50th anniversary of the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18. So, we are asking this year: are parliaments coming of age? Our conference seeks to highlight the best research into legislatures, shining a light on how parliaments across the UK and beyond have developed, and continue to develop.

The full conference schedule will be published in the autumn, but we are delighted to confirm the below papers and panels.


Panel 1: Parliamentary Scrutiny (Chair: TBC)

  • Stephen Bates (Birmingham), Mark Goodwin (Coventry) and Steve Mckay (Lincoln), ‘Select Committee Membership, Parliamentary Roles and Parliamentary Careers in the UK House of Commons, 1979-2019’
  • Matthew Hamilton (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association), ‘Self-reflections and Measuring Effectiveness of Public Accounts Committees’
  • Arabella Lang (House of Commons), ‘Treaties: Parliament’s Blind Spot?’
  • Jack Sheldon (Cambridge) and Hedydd Phylip (Cardiff), ‘Strengthening interparliamentary relations: first steps, future directions and potential challenges’

Panel 2: International and Comparative Parliamentary Politics (Chair: TBC)

  • Jason VandenBeukel (Toronto) and Meghan Snider (Toronto), ‘A Computational Analysis of the Abortion Debate in the Canadian House of Commons, 1901-2019’
  • Caroline Bhattacharya (Helsinki), ‘The Party in Control of Plenary Debates? The Case of Bundestag Debates on the Euro Crisis’
  • Matt Williams (Oxford), ‘The Senate of Canada: Coming of a New Age?’

Panel 3: Representation in Parliaments (Chair: TBC)

  • Alex Prior (Leeds) and Cristina Leston-Bandeira (Leeds), ‘(Re)-connecting parliamentary engagement: how storytelling can strengthen public-parliament dynamics in the UK’
  • Sarah Childs (Birkbeck) and Karen Celis (VUB), ‘Feminist Democratic Representation’
  • Ben Worthy (Birkbeck), ‘Who’s Watching Parliament? Monitory Democracy at Westminster’
  • Richard Kwiatkowski (Cranfield) and Warren Greig (Cranfield), ‘Stepping into the same river: Change, constancy and the psychology of Members of Parliament’
  • Gareth Evans (Staffordshire), ‘From Platypus to Parliament: The Coming of Age of Devolution in Wales?’

Panel 4: The Governance of Parliaments (Chair: TBC)

  • Jonathan Chibois (HSSS, Paris), ‘Adapt or perish. What has driven the French National Assembly to transform its infrastructure over the past century?’
  • Victoria Hasson (WFD) and Graeme Ramshaw (WFD), ‘Arrested Development?: The Limits of Parliamentary Development in Chaotic Political Systems’
  • Richard Kelly (House of Commons Library), ‘Parliamentary Standards – the battle to retain control’
  • Mark Bennister (Lincoln), Ben Yong (Hull) and Diana Stirbu (London Metropolitan), ‘Governance of parliamentary institutions: structures, processes and leadership. Shaping collective identities within parliaments’

Alongside the paper presentations, we have built in plenty of breaks (which will include free refreshments and a lunch), as well as the Specialist Group’s Annual General Meeting.

Key dates
15 May – call for blogs and papers
12 July – deadline for abstracts
22 July – notification of acceptance/rejection

5 August – registration opens
18 October – deadline for registration and first draft of blogs
25 October – circulation of blogs/papers
07-08 November – conference

We look forward to welcoming you to Cardiff in November! In the mean time, please direct any questions to Dr Marc Geddes (

The PSA Parliaments Group has limited bursaries (of up to £50 each) available for PhD students and early-career academics, to support travel costs and/or accommodation. To apply, please contact Dr Marc Geddes by midday on Friday 11 October. You must be a member of the PSA Parliaments group to apply. 

Register now