PSA Parliaments Group Annual Conference

Thursday, 07 November 2019 6:00 PM - Friday, 08 November 2019 6:00 PM [GST]

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales, CF99 1NA, United Kingdom

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Thursday, 07 November 2019 6:00 PM - Friday, 08 November 2019 6:00 PM [GST]

National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales, CF99 1NA, United Kingdom.

This year, the PSA Parliaments Group Annual Conference will take place in Cardiff, at the National Assembly for Wales. The theme of this year's conference is 'Parliaments: Coming of Age?'. This is a timely and pertinent question for the NAW, which marks its twentieth anniversary this year. This falls alongside a number of other anniversaries, including the twentieth anniversary of the re-convening of the Scottish Parliament; the 40th anniversary of the introduction of departmental select committees in the UK; 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. Our conference is where members present and discuss their latest research. It is the most important event of the year for those interested in legislatures. The conference not only includes academic panls, but a keynote practitioner event, the formal presentation of the Specialist Group's undergraduate essay competition, and provides opportunities for networking between academics and practitioners in the field of parliamentary studies.



  • Thursday, 7 November, 6pm-8pm: Welcome Wine Reception (Pierhead Building, National Assembly for Wales)
  • Friday, 8 November, 9.30am-6.00pm: Conference



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'
  • Arabella Lang (House of Commons), '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 teh 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?'
  • Stephen Elstub (Newcastle), 'Is Public Engagement in UK Parliaments Coming of Age? Lessons from Mini-Publics'


 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), 'Adap 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.

For further information, please contact Dr Marc Geddes ( and Dr Louise Thompson (

Please note: this event is recommended for an academic and practitioner audience rather than members of the public, though of course we welcome everyone.

PSA Parliaments

The PSA Parliaments Group is a specialist group of the Political Studies Association.

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