Workshops on Methods

At our Annual General Meeting, we discussed the possibility of holding small workshops at a range of universities on methodological issues and training in legislative studies. Any of you could host one of these workshops, and we have funding available to help put these together. They do not need to be large workshops, and could comprise small groups of 6 or so people (or a larger group!). Similarly, it does not need to be a full day activity – a 1h30min workshop would be just as useful as a full day/afternoon one. The idea is that it explores a specific methodology issue in legislative studies. This is to build on the workshop we held last year (details here), and the feedback showed that it would be useful to do more of these but focused on specific approaches/techniques. Stephen Bates (Birmingham) has offered to run a workshop on quantitative analysis for legislative studies, for example.

If anyone else would like to run one in a different area, we would love to hear from you – just get in touch with us. As soon as we have details for workshops, including the one in Birmingham, we will circulate details.

Do get in touch, even if you just want more details about what we have organised so far and/or discuss a possible idea.


Interpreting Parliament, but how?

Interpreting Parliament, but how?

By Marc Geddes

What interests me in the study of Parliament is the way in which everyday life is so unpredictable, chaotic, reactive and consistently beset by challenges. Yet simultaneously, to the outside world at least, Parliament looks stable and ordered, static and unchanging. Continue reading

What is a good ethnography of Parliament?

What is a good ethnography of Parliament?

By Emma Crewe

Ethnography is a methodological and theoretical approach to studying social worlds. Doing ethnography does not require particular research techniques but is a process of prolonged engagement with a group of people to find out how they act, think, talk and relate to each other. Ethnographers’ understanding of subjectivity is distinct from positivistic approaches; rather than attempting to remove their influence on the research findings, they make this part of their research. Such reflexivity entails turning back on oneself, reflecting on how you are thinking and on how the social interaction between ethnographer and informant impacts on perception and interpretation.

Continue reading