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Professor Meg Russell

Professor of British and Comparative Politics

Dr Meg Russell
  • Name: Professor Meg Russell
  • Position: Professor of British and Comparative Politics
  • Professor Russell will be on sabbatical leave from UCL in term 2, 2014/15.
  • Room: B15
  • Telephone: 0207 679 4998
  • Fax: 0207 679 4978


Meg Russell began at UCL as a Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit in August 1998. She is largely responsible for the Unit's research work on parliament, and has a particular interest in bicameralism and the British House of Lords. She has also written on political party organisation, candidate selection and women's representation in politics.

Meg has worked closely with policy makers throughout her career. Before joining the Unit she had worked in parliament and been National Women's Officer of the Labour Party. In 1999 she was a consultant to the Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords and from 2001-2003 was seconded as a full time adviser to Robin Cook in his role as Leader of the House of Commons. She has acted as an adviser to the Arbuthnott Commission on boundaries and voting systems in Scotland, the House of Lords Appointments Commission and most recently the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the "Wright Committee"). She has regularly given evidence to parliamentary committees, both in Britain and overseas.

In 2006 Meg was awarded the Political Studies Association’s Richard Rose prize for contribution by a younger scholar to the study of British politics. She was promoted to Reader in 2008.

Research Projects

Meg’s first major project at the Unit was a comparative study of second chambers, to inform the second stage of House of Lords reform. She has also conducted research on parliament and devolution, internal organisational reform in the Labour Party, and legal mechanisms for promoting women's representation. Meg has most recently directed two projects: the first, funded by the ESRC, a major study of the impact of the 1999 reform on the House of Lords; the other, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, looked at possible new options for the way the House of Commons governs itself.

In October 2008 Meg began a three year full-time Research Fellowship funded by the ESRC, during which she is pursuing various research and writing projects centred on parliament.


Meg is responsible for the Department’s postgraduate modules on British Government and Politics, Parliaments, Political Parties and Policy Making and Gender and Politics, and its undergraduate module on Gender and Politics (the latter three all comparative courses). During the course of her Fellowship she is only directly teaching Parliaments, Political Parties and Policy Making, and is available to supervise Masters dissertations and PhD projects in this area.

Responsibilities outside UCL

Meg sits on the editorial board of the Political Quarterly, and is a member of the executive committee of the UK Study of Parliament Group.


Key publications include:

In October 2007 she published (with Akash Paun) The House Rules? International lessons for enhancing the autonomy of the House of Commons, which was very influential on the Wright Committee (see above). Her Constitution Unit report Women’s Representation in Politics: What can be done within the Law? was similarly influential in bringing about the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002. Her Fabian pamphlet Must Politics Disappoint? was shortlisted for pamphlet of the year at the Thinktank of the Year awards 2005.

Meg's full publication list

Meg's Unit publications

More infomation

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

Postgraduate enquiries

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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