Welcome to the website for the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, based in the Department of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London.


19 January 2018

We are delighted to welcome the Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, to deliver a lecture on parliamentary reform. More information.

22 December 2017

In the latest episode of Westminster Watch, the podcast from the Birkbeck Department of Politics, Dermot Hodson and Ben Worthy give their predictions for 2019. Listen here.

Upcoming events

12 February 2018

Speaker of the House Rt Hon John Bercow MP on Parliamentary Reform

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Recent Posts

Rafael Behr: Life in the Lobby at Westminster

This week, in the comfort of the Keynes library, Guardian journalist Rafael Behr gave Birkbeck’s Parliamentary Studies students an insight into life in the lobby at Westminster. He remembered how forbidding Parliament appeared to a budding new journalist, explained how the famous lobby system works and gave an insight into the ways in which reporters try to find out (or try to find out) exactly what is happening. Questions and discussion ranged across from the ‘usual channels’ to Conservative mutineers and ended with Rafael reflecting on some of his favourite Parliamentary moments.Rafael Behr in the Keynes Library

You can see his columns here and follow him on Twitter @rafaelbehr

  1. Authenticity in Politics
  2. Desperately Seeking an Elderly Gentleman with a Large Majority … to Persuade Parliament to Allow MPs to Job-Share
  3. Let’s put the champagne on ice: the Commons’ missing women
  4. General Election 2017: Pre-Election Predictions
  5. Can Progressive Parties Work Together?
  6. What is it like to work for an MP?
  7. The 2016 US Election: Trump Can Win
  8. The EU Referendum: Will it be In or Out?
  9. Chills, thrills and surprises: ten years of freedom of information in the UK