by Sarah Foxen
As the new academic year kicks off, I wonder if you’ve planned any ‘new year’s resolutions’. Perhaps you’re going to try a different approach to doing your teaching prep or find a new way of conducting data collection? Or perhaps you’re considering taking steps to have more impact with your work?
If it’s the latter of these, then you should know that engaging with the UK Parliament can be a great way to achieve policy impact. I’d like to share some of the benefits of engaging with Parliament through research – and share some practical ideas on how to do so. Continue reading
Rosie Campbell is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London. She has recently written on what voters want from their parliamentary candidates, attitudes to MPs’ roles, the politics of diversity and gender and voting behaviour. She is the principal investigator of the ESRC-funded Representative Audit of Britain.
Sarah Childs is Professor of Politics and Gender at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research centres on the theory and practice of women’s representation, gender and political parties, and re-gendering parliaments.
Just because MPs don’t job-share at the moment doesn’t mean they never will. We think it’s worth asking why the practices of flexible working, which have helped many people access to the labour market, don’t yet apply to our democratic institutions.
Alexandra Meakin is a doctoral student at the University of Sheffield, where her research is on the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. She is a Research Associate on the Designing for Democracy project, led by the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Hub.
As the House of Commons returns this week from the summer recess, MPs will be adjusting to a temporary silence from the chimes of Big Ben. The repairs to the Elizabeth Tower, which contains the Great Bell, have led some politicians and parts of the media to protest that “the very heartbeat of our democracy is falling silent”. The House of Commons Commission is due to meet this month to reconsider the programme of work to address urgent problems with the clock mechanism and the structure of the tower. But while attention has been focused on Big Ben, an anniversary this week serves as a pressing reminder about the worrying state of the rest of the Palace of Westminster.
Rob Davies is Public Affairs Manager for CLOSER, the UK longitudinal studies consortium funded by the ESRC and Medical Research Council (MRC).
His role is to raise awareness of longitudinal studies among policymakers and parliamentarians and help ensure longitudinal evidence influences policy development.
Based on his two decades of experience in communications, public affairs and stakeholder management, Rob shares some practical advice and tips for engaging with policymakers. Continue reading
Dr Louise Thompson is a lecturer in British Politics at the University of Surrey.
Her research focuses on the UK Parliament and particularly looks at parliamentary committees, the legislative process and public engagement with Parliament and the political process. Her wider research interests are in legislative studies, British politics and constitutional reform.
Her piece ‘People will soon be at the very heart of lawmaking’ finished in the top 10 of the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065– in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE. You can read it below:
People will soon be at the very heart of lawmaking
It’s 1st March 2065. Jenny Brown is tucking her son into bed and thinking about tackling that pile of ironing that’s been sitting around all week. Her iPhone beeps and alerts her to amendment 52 of the Children Bill which has just been proposed by an MP in the House of Commons.