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.

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.


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’
  • Eleanor Hourigan (Counsel to the Joint Committee on Human Rights), ‘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.

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