Now that 2018 is well and truly underway, we are looking back at our work over the previous year and considering our plans for the future.
In 2018 and beyond, the Centre for the Study of British Politics & Public Life will continue supporting research projects, expanding our community of student, post-doctoral and visiting researchers, and hosting events for our student, academic and public audiences.
We will carry out this work within and across our three broad areas of research: gender and British politics, the history of British political thought, and political and public life.
The Year So Far
Already in 2017/18, we have hosted external speakers, including researchers Profs. Duncan Kelly (Cambridge), Sylvia Bashevkin (Toronto) and Georgina Waylen (Manchester), and practitioners, including the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP for an ‘in conversation’ event at the House of Commons. We have also submitted our nomination for the Ben Pimlott Writer in Residence scheme.
Coming up soon, in collaboration with the Department of Politics, we will host the Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons in February, and former MP Denis MacShane as part of the continuing Westminster Watch podcast series.
The Year Ahead
The rest of 2018 is shaping up to be a busy period, with activities and events expanded in scope, scale and nature.
2018 is the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act and the Parliament (Qualification of Women Act), legislation that gave working class men and some women the vote, and women the right to sit in the House of Commons.
The Centre will be marking this occasion through a series of events that explore questions of political inclusion and equality, citizenship, participation and representation.
Our work will focus on four core themes:
- Political leadership
- Local representation, including London politics
- Women’s descriptive and substantive representation
To this end, we have plans for a research workshop on leadership in crisis, a day seminar on representation and leadership in local government and a two-day conference on women’s representation in contemporary politics, the latter with sessions on suffrage, political recruitment, gender and Brexit, and more. We will welcome a range of external speakers, senior Ministers and sitting MPs to contribute to these events.
In November we will host Alan Finlayson, Professor of Political and Social Theory at the University of East Anglia. Professor Finlayson’s analyses of rhetoric in British politics have been widely acclaimed, and we are pleased to welcome him as the inaugural speaker in our annual lecture series. The second half of 2018 will feature events on celebrating and commemorating suffrage movements and a public screening of a documentary on Ireland in 1918.
Image: A statue of Constance Markievicz, who in 1918 was the first woman elected to the House of Commons. Credit: William Murphy.