The Constitution Unit


Professor Meg Russell

Meg - staff pic

Position: Professor of British and Comparative Politics and Director of the Constitution Unit
Location: 2.03, 31 Tavistock Square
Telephone: 020 3108 6967 (Internal: 56967)


Meg Russell began at UCL as a Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit in August 1998, and is now the Unit's Director. She leads its research work on parliament, and is particularly known for her work on the British House of Lords, bicameralism, and parliamentary policy influence. She has also written in the past on political party organisation, candidate selection, women's representation in politics and political psychology.

Meg has worked closely with policy makers throughout her career. Before joining UCL she had worked in the House of Commons and for the British 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 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.

Meg sits on the editorial board of the Political Quarterly, where she is Reports and Surveys editor. She is also a former Academic Secretary of the Study of Parliament Group.

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 and to Professor in 2014. 


Meg is responsible for most of the Unit's research on parliament. She has a particular interest in the British parliament, and she is known as one of the primary academic experts on the House of Lords. But she has also researched the House of Commons, and Commons reform, as well as the devolved legislatures in the UK and other legislatures overseas. Her recent work has focused in particular on the extent to which the Westminster parliament influences government policy. In comparative politics terms she has a particularly strong interest in bicameralism (i.e. two chamber parliaments). She has also written in the past on political party organisation, devolution, and women's representation in politics.

Meg's current projects, and recently completed projects, include the following:

Meg has also pursued many previous projects during her years at the Unit. These include:

She has also contributed to various Lords reform commentaries during her time at the Unit, and of course to the Unit newsletter, the Monitor.


    Meg is the author of four books:

    In addition her Fabian pamphlet Must Politics Disappoint? was shortlisted for pamphlet of the year at the Thinktank of the Year awards 2005.

    She is joint editor of:

    She has also written numerous Constitution Unit reports. Key examples include:

    For a complete list of all Meg's publications, and details of her media appearances, see the list below:


    Meg teaches the following modules in the Department:

    She also supervises teaching on:

    The latter three of these are all comparative politics modules.

    She also supervises Masters dissertations and PhD projects in areas related to her research.

    Meg is currently chair of the Exam Board for the Department's MSc programmes.

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