Events, updates and announcements from The School of Public Policy
Dr Meg Russell was on the BBC Westminster Hour programme on Sunday 27 July discussing unsustainable House of Lords appointments and the need for regulation. Dr Russell explains the most urgent Lords reform is the need to regulate unsustainable level of PM's appointments. Listen to the show on BBC website.
Dr Meg Russell was also quoted in The Times (24/07/2014) on the row over appointment of new peers.
Meg Russell says “The size of the Lords grew by around 70 between 1999 and 2010 under Blair and Brown, and if 20 peers are indeed to be appointed, it will have grown by around 120 more under Cameron. This is plainly completely unsustainable, and there is an urgent need to regulate the prime minister’s appointment power.”
“The Lords is now a serious legislative institution, with a major impact on policy. Particularly given the growing size of the chamber, dissolution and resignation honours lists are outdated indulgences that we can no longer afford,”
“The current appointments system is completely unsustainable, and now urgently needs independent regulation, including a transparent formula for allocating seats between the parties and an agreed maximum size. That the prime minister continues to decide the size and party balance of one chamber of parliament is no longer defensible.”
In her Westminster Hour interview Meg Russell expanded on these themes, stating:
”I think we really have to face up seriously now to the need to regulate prime ministerial appointments to the House of Lords. The House of Lords matters more to British politics than it has done for a long time... We have to introduce some kind of regulation system that first of all says what the maximum size of the chamber is (it’s very unusual to have a parliament with no maximum size), and then we need an agreed formula for appointments so that there’s some fair distribution of appointments between the parties, and the party leaders are told how many appointments they can have within the quota. I think we need to give that over to the House of Lords Appointments Commission or some other independent body that will, in an objective independent way, regulate the system.”
A full transcript of the interview is available here.
Published: Aug 11, 2014 3:13:03 PM
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins opened a Discourse of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) on “International Human Rights and Democratic Public Ethics” at the University of Limerick on Friday June 6th. The Discourse was given by Professor Richard Bellamy and attended by a capacity audience of over 190 invited guests and members of the public.
The Bellamy Discourse, which was developed under the auspices of ‘The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative’, examined the complex area of human rights and how best to defend them from the perspective of Governments and the Judiciary.
Speaking about his ethics initiative President Higgins said: “The aim of ‘The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative’ is to place the citizen at the centre of the debate about the future of our society by recovering a strong sense of the public world, and by using that public discourse to raise questions that go to the heart of the choices facing our society and institutions. Since I launched this initiative in February, I have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of our citizens for engaging with these profound questions and for formulating an alternative set of principles by which Irish people can represent and project their lives together. The response from all levels of our society has been remarkable.”
Professor Richard Bellamy is the director of the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute. His main research interests are in the History of European Social and Political Theory post-1750; Contemporary Analytical Legal and Political Philosophy; Public Ethics; Constitutionalism, Rights and the Rule of Law; Citizenship, Representation and Democracy, and their application to issues of Global Governance, especially the European Union
Speaking from the event UL President, Professor Don Barry said “The President of Ireland has asked us to further the national discourse on ethics, to enhance awareness of ethical responsibility and to engage the community in a serious debate on ethical standards. Given the challenging times that we live in, it could be argued that there has never been a more pressing case for a renewal of our national focus on Ethics. The topic of today’s discourse is ‘International Human Rights and Democratic Public Ethics’ and is held under the auspices of the President of Ireland Ethics Initiative in association with the 2014 Limerick City of Culture.”
Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: “'As President of the Royal Irish Academy, I am delighted to have the privilege of welcoming President Higgins and Professor Bellamy to speak at our discourse held here in the magnificent surroundings of the University of Limerick. Through his Presidential Ethics Initiative, which is being supported by the Royal Irish Academy, the President has played a singularly important role in exploring the ethical connection between economy and society. Today's discourse by Professor Richard Bellamy, who is one of the foremost authors on the concepts of public ethics and citizenship, will make a powerful contribution to that debate, by exploring the interface between international human rights and democratic public ethics.”
The University of Limerick is hosting a number of public debates, academic conferences and key note speeches on ‘Ethics’ across a variety of sectors in response to the President of Ireland Ethics Initiative. More...
Published: May 29, 2014 3:23:56 PM
One of the policy concerns about violent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Russia’s North Caucasus region, Somalia, and the ongoing war in Syria has been that these struggles could attract and breed foreign fighters. Yet we know relatively little about the ways in which foreign fighters, once they arrive, influence the struggles they join. I argue, in my article in the spring 2014 issue of International Security, that foreign fighters may actually weaken the rebel movements they come to support. More...
Published: May 29, 2014 3:23:56 PM
Article from http://governancejournal.net, May 26, 2014. More...
Published: May 27, 2014 12:21:12 PM
Article from The Economist, May 24, 2014. More...
Published: May 27, 2014 10:14:25 AM
Click button below to be sure of a place. Opens in a new window/tab. More...
Published: Apr 15, 2014 4:05:10 PM
The Department of Political Science's videos today published our 201th video. More...
Published: Apr 9, 2014 4:00:22 PM
Panel Discussion organised by IPPR and School of Public Policy More...
Published: Apr 9, 2014 3:27:27 PM
Roderic Lyne visited the School of Public Policy and examined the Ukrainian crisis in the wider context of Russian policy and attitudes since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What triggered the Russian threats to Ukraine? What are Russia’s objectives there? How does this fit into Russian policy towards the “post-Soviet space”? Is Russia expansionist or defensive, resurgent or vulnerable? Are we still coping with the aftershocks of the Soviet implosion – and for how long? Does Russia’s behaviour reflect a view of the world which will last beyond the Putin regime? More...
Published: Apr 4, 2014 1:02:39 PM
Jonathan Powell talked about his new book, 'Talking to Terrorists How to end armed conflicts', to be published next year. The thesis of the book is that governments say they will never negotiate with terrorists but nearly always end up doing so and when they eventually come to do so they have usually forgotten the lessons learned from their last encounter and have to start from scratch. The book looks at the moral and practical question of whether it is right to talk to terrorists and then looks at past successes in South Africa, El Salvador, Colombia, Mozambique, Northern Ireland and Spain as well as those cases where talks have failed, like Sri Lanka. The book also looks at historical experiences with Lloyd George and the IRA in 1919 to 1921 and the French in Algeria. It concludes that it is always right to talk to terrorists but it may not always be the right moment to enter into negotiations. Powell argues that no group should be beyond the pale, and that we should be ready to talks to Hamas, the Taliban and even Al Qaeda.
Published: Feb 24, 2014 4:48:50 PM
Meg Russell's new book on the House of Lords has been shortlisted for Practical Politics Book of the Year
Meg Russell's book 'The
Contemporary House of Lords: Westminster Bicameralism Revived' has been shortlisted in the Practical Politics Book of the Year category at the Political Book
Published: Feb 17, 2014 3:47:02 PM
This video contains flash photography.
Published: Feb 14, 2014 12:32:35 PM
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister will be in London today to give a lecture on 'Scotland's Future: the case for an independent Scotland' before students and guests of UCL’s School of Public Policy.
Published: Feb 13, 2014 12:06:14 PM
The Political Quarterly, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science / School of Public Policy at UCL and The Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life at Birkbeck hosted a public debate about Colin Crouch's new book Making Capitalism Fit for Society on 30 January 2014. More...
Published: Feb 11, 2014 3:08:18 PM
Steven Rathgeb Smith's (Executive Director of the American Political Science Association) visit at UCL SPP
Professor Steven Rathgeb Smith is the new Executive Director of the American Political Science Association (APSA), of which he has been a member for over 30 years. He holds a PhD in Political Science from MIT and has taught at a number of major American universities, including Duke and Georgetown. Steven is a leading scholar on non-profit organisations, public management and social policy. More...
Published: Feb 6, 2014 11:16:28 AM
Dr Christine Reh, Director of UCL’s Master in European Public Policy, talks to Björn Kjellström, Head of UK Office, European Parliament. More...
Published: Dec 12, 2013 3:35:06 PM
Tax avoidance is one of the great economic scourges and social injustices of our times. The psychology is simple: why pay the State more when perfectly legal wheezes can reduce your burden?
Published: Dec 6, 2013 3:40:55 PM
The Rt Hon Jack Straw joined us at the UCL Institute of Global Governance (IGG) on 28 November to talk about the strengths and limitations of the UN system. Jack also spoke in his capacity as the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board to the recently launched IGG. More...
Published: Dec 3, 2013 4:05:57 PM
As former Foreign Secretary (2000-2006) and with extensive experience of multilateral diplomacy at the highest levels, the Rt Hon Jack Straw is exceptionally well-placed to reflect on the strengths and limitations of the UN system. Faced with the mounting instability of an unmanaged global system, combined with significant power shifts to the Global South, can the UN, the pre-eminent multilateral governance system of the 20th Century, change its business practices and meaningfully reform to meet the challenges of the 21st Century? Such questions provide the backdrop to this timely lecture by one of the UK’s leading figures in global diplomacy.
Published: Nov 21, 2013 2:48:37 PM
Recorded on 4th November, 2013 in Cruciform Building Lecture Theatre 1.
Published: Nov 15, 2013 2:53:54 PM
Jan-Emmanuel De Neve shares some data that suggest some interesting ways to incentivize people to pay their taxes. "If we can make the tax form slightly less frustrating and perhaps raise compliance, we can do a lot of good." More...
Published: Nov 14, 2013 10:33:36 AM
Giving Time research project - what motivates people to contribute to the public good on a voluntary basis? More...
Published: Oct 11, 2013 3:51:36 PM
Our School celebrated the opening of the extension of our current building and the beginning of the new academic year with a drinks reception, which took place at 31 Tavistock Square on Friday, the 4th of October 2013. As the Head of the Department and Director of the School of Public Policy, Professor David Coen, stated, change and growth have been a recurring theme and 2013-14 does not look like it will disappoint.
The new building at 31 Tavistock Square will provide our students and members of staff with some newly refurbished seminar rooms and office spaces, as well as two computer clusters and common rooms for students and staff. The newly-launched Institute of Global Governance will be also based on the 4th floor of the building. More...
Published: Oct 4, 2013 1:43:00 PM
Video: UCL / NYU Wagner - Executive Master of Public Administration in Global Public Policy and Management
UCL's School of Public Policy and NYU Wagner have created an unique partnership to offer an innovative one-year Joint Master of Public Administration, Executive program in Global Public Policy and Management (Global EMPA). The program will start in September 2014. More...
Published: Oct 1, 2013 9:51:39 AM
Announcing the Launch of Constitute: The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search and Compare More...
Published: Sep 30, 2013 4:23:13 PM
UCL and the Institute of Education (IOE) have been chosen to host one of 15 Q-Step Centres to train undergraduates in quantitative social science.
Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training over a five-year period from 2013. Fifteen universities across the UK are delivering specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study. Expertise and resources will be shared across the higher education sector through an accompanying support programme, which will also forge links with schools and employers.
Developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates, Q-step is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The new UCL-IOE Centre will offer three new degree programmes in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE), Quantitative Human Geography, and Population Health Science, alongside offering existing undergraduates social science training. Dr Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson (UCL Political Science), Director of the new Centre, said: “The Q-Step Centre reflects our shared vision to expand rigorous undergraduate social science training. This £1.34 million award will enable us to offer three exciting new degrees, along with providing students with the skills to compete in a highly competitive job market.”
Students at the UCL – IOE Centre will be offered internationally recognised, research-led teaching. They will emerge from their degree programmes with a wide range and depth of skills obtained through a combination of core training, internships, short courses, dedicated workshops and seminars, and a personal mentoring scheme.
The centre will offer six new modules in core training in quantitative methods, including a ‘problem driven’ approach to teaching quantitative methods using current policy debates (for example obesity, migration, security, inequality, health).
Students will also be offered the opportunity to take optional modules with embedded quantitative methods, along with summer short courses led by the IOE’s Department of Quantitative Social Science. The Centre will also offer paid student internship opportunities within the two universities and with external employers.
Professor Anthony Smith (UCL Vice-Provost, Education), said: “This partnership represents a fantastic opportunity to build on the strengths of our respective organisations, and once open the centre will provide our students with the best possible education and training for the wider world. While this represents one of the first fruits of the new strategic partnership between UCL and the IOE, such close collaborative links will help us not only build on pre-existing efforts, but also open up new themes and opportunities in the future.”
Published: Sep 30, 2013 4:23:13 PM
Cécile Laborde has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy is the national academy for the humanities and social sciences, equivalent to the Royal Society for the natural sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Science in the United States.
In electing her, the Academy sought to acknowledge the distinctive contribution Cécile has made to the study of political thought, most notably through her writings on republican political theory.
She was among the youngest of the 47 Fellows elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Academy in July 2013 and it is unusual for fellows to be elected so early in their career. Indeed, many are not elected until after they have retired.
Asked for her reaction, Cécile said that she surprised but honoured to have been nominated and selected for such a prestigious distinction and said that it reflected credit on the centre of excellence in Political Theory at UCL.
Published: Sep 19, 2013 11:19:39 AM
Global public policy leaders must develop and implement solutions in an increasingly complex, challenging, and changing environment. New actors and influences—both local and global—are emerging on the policy scene, and the need for flexibility and innovation in policy processes and solutions is increasingly clear. That is why NYU Wagner and University College London have launched a Global Executive MPA degree program that will educate and prepare experienced leaders to tackle the world's most challenging issues in this new global context. More...
Published: Sep 19, 2013 11:19:39 AM
Dr Kristin M. Bakke promotion to Senior Lecturer More...
Published: Sep 19, 2013 11:19:39 AM
Dr Meg Russell, Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit (School of Public Policy, University College London) discusses her new book about the House of Lords. More...
Published: Jul 18, 2013 2:53:36 PM