Department of Political Science

Prof Meg Russell

Prof Meg Russell

Professor of British and Comparative Politics

Dept of Political Science

Faculty of S&HS

Joined UCL
3rd Aug 1998

Research summary

Meg is largely responsible for the Constitution 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, women's representation in politics, and the use of theories from social psychology in the study of political elites.

Meg is author of four books, on the UK legislative process, the House of Lords, comparative bicameralism and organisational change in the UK Labour Party. She was joint editor of the 2016 textbook Developments in British Politics. She has been author of more than 25 Constitution Unit reports, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She has frequently written for the popular media, including the Guardian, Observer, Times, Telegraph and Financial Times.

In June 2019 Meg was awarded a 3-year Senior Fellowship with the ESRC-funded UK in a Changing Europe programme, working on 'Brexit, Parliament and the Constitution'

Teaching summary

Meg teaches two modules on the Department's Masters programmes: British Government and Politics, and Parliaments, Political Parties and Policymaking (a comparative course). At undergraduate level she teaches the course British Parliamentary Studies, which is delivered in a collaboration with the Westminster parliamentary authorities. She also supervises Masters dissertations and Ph.D. students.


Middlesex University
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1996
London School of Economics and Political Science
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1987


Meg Russell began at UCL as a Senior Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit, School of Public Policy, in August 1998. She was promoted to Reader in 2008, and to Professor of British and Comparative Politics in 2014. Since 2015 she has been the Director of the Constitution Unit. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2020.

Meg has worked closely with policy makers throughout her career. Before joining UCL she had worked in parliament and as National Women's Officer of the Labour Party. She has been a consultant to the Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords, the Arbuthnott Commission on boundaries and voting systems in Scotland, the House of Lords Appointments Commission, and three parliamentary committees: the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons (the "Wright Committee"), the Lord Speaker's Committee on the Size of the House of Lords (the "Burns Committee") and the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. 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 regularly given evidence to parliamentary committees, both in Britain and overseas, and has spoken in the British, Australian, Irish, Italian and Japanese parliaments.