The Constitution Unit


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Upcoming Events


Britain’s New Political Class: All Change in the House?

Date: 30 November 2015, 6pm
Speaker: Dr Jennifer Hudson
Location: Council Room, 29-30 Tavistock Sq


Social Union in a New Era of Devolution

Date: 7 December 2015, 6pm
Speaker: Angus Robertson MP
Location: Council room, 29-30 Tavistock Sq


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The policy power of the Westminster parliament: The empirical evidence

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The UK parliament continues to be dismissed as powerless in many academic and popular accounts. Drawing on a large body of quantitative and qualitative research conducted over more than 15 years, a recent article by Meg Russell and Philip Cowley argued that the Westminster parliament is in fact an institution with significant policy influence. Meg […]

Northern Ireland’s ‘Fresh Start’ agreement will bring short term stability but does not itself resolve the underlying problems

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Alan Whysall discusses developments last week in Northern Ireland, arguing that the ‘Fresh Start’ agreement will bring stability in the short term but does not itself resolve the underlying problems. This blog follows up earlier posts outlining Northern Ireland’s current political difficulties here, and possible ways forward here and here. After some months of stand […]

Do citizens’ assemblies work in practice? Eight lessons from a pilot

Monday, 23 November 2015

There has been growing interest in the idea of staging a ‘people’s’ constitutional convention in the UK over recent years, but little evidence for how one could work in practice. With this in mind a group of academics recently convened two pilot citizens’ assemblies in Sheffield and Southampton. The Unit’s own Alan Renwick, who was […]

Votes at 16: What effect would it have on the EU referendum?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The House of Lords has amended the EU Referendum Bill to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum. The issue will now return to the Commons, but what difference would such an extension to the franchise make? Alan Renwick and Barney McCay examine the evidence. The House of Lords yesterday voted by 293 […]

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